Office of Fair Trading
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OFT receives super-complaint about travel money

The OFT has today received a super-complaint from Consumer Focus about the cost of obtaining foreign currency and overseas use of credit and debit cards.

Consumer Focus identified three features which it has called on the OFT to investigate:

  • the charges applied by some banks and credit card providers for purchases of foreign currency within the UK are unfair and may restrict competition and consumer choice
  • the complex and unclear charges applied when using credit or debit cards abroad are confusing and may prevent consumers from making well informed choices
  • the use by some UK foreign currency retailers of phrases promising '0% commission' and 'competitive exchange rates' may mislead consumers and prevent them from shopping around.

The OFT will now consider the issues raised in the super-complaint in order to establish whether or not any feature, or combination of features, in the relevant market is, or appears to be, significantly harming the interests of consumers.

The OFT will shortly invite interested parties to provide any information which they consider may be useful to its assessment. For more information please see the super-complaint page.

The OFT has 90 days to consider a super-complaint and will publish its reasoned response on or before 20 December 2011.

NOTES

  1. The Enterprise Act 2002 (the Act) makes provision for designated consumer bodies to make super-complaints. A super-complaint, as defined by section 11(1) of the Act, is a complaint submitted by a designated consumer body that 'any feature, or combination of features, of a market in the United Kingdom for goods or services is or appears to be significantly harming the interests of consumers'. Consumer Focus is a designated consumer body. Within 90 days after the day on which a super-complaint is received, the OFT must say publicly how it proposes to deal with it (section 11(2)).
  2. See more information on super-complaints.
  3. See more information on the Consumer Focus super-complaint.



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