Eris FX has launched a petition that aims to force all specialist foreign exchange providers to make their customer dealing rates available on a price comparison site approved by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Helen Scott, managing director of the Leeds-based foreign exchange specialist, said it is impossible for consumers to shop around and accurately compare prices when buying foreign money.
Most specialist currency exchange companies do not publish their customer dealing rates on their websites. Instead they show the interbank rate, which is not available to customers.
“It’s a bit like petrol stations displaying the price of a barrel of crude oil instead of their price for a litre of petrol,” said Helen.
Foreign exchange price comparison websites only show ‘indicative rates’, which are not accurate dealing rates. These websites are often paid by participating companies to achieve a certain ranking.
In addition these sites choose which companies they want to include in their comparison table. This means that some companies with competitive rates are excluded and the consumer is prevented from finding the best rate available.
Helen added: “An FCA-approved foreign exchange rate comparison website, which includes all market participants and which only shows real customer dealing rates, will allow consumers to find the best rate available at the time.
“We want to force all specialist foreign exchange providers to make their customer dealing rates available on at least one FCA-approved price comparison site, and that’s why we have launched this petition.”
The move follows an investigation into payday lenders by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which concluded that all lenders must make their product details available on at least one price comparison website to encourage greater competition.
Leeds-based Eris FX is leading the move towards greater transparency in the foreign currency market. It uses a “what you see is what you get’” pricing structure with a guaranteed rate, which includes free same day payments and no additional fees.
Customers can use its currency converter tool to input rates from other providers and compare the total cost of the transfer.