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Posted July 22nd, 2010 by Charles Purdy

How much are the banks ripping you off?

How much are the banks ripping you off?

Vince Cable is one of five Lib Dems in the Tory-Lib Dem coalition cabinet and holds the position of Business Secretary. He has come out publicly and said what we at Smart Currency have been saying for simply ages: that the high street banks are ripping their customers off.

His comments come as Panorama, in researching for their television programme on the subject, reveal that some high street banks surveyed are charging on average 32 per cent interest, despite advertised rates of around 19 per cent. With costs and other charges factored in this can reach an unbelievable 167 per cent over a year as an average rate across the high street banks.

There are fewer banks after the recent recession (and therefore less competition) and still use what some would say is an almost deliberate device of making the small print so complicated that few actually read it. This means that clients aren’t really kept in the picture. All the charges are no doubt explained, but in such a way that few ever get to know about them before running into these enormous costs.

A quite considerable sum is charged when you transfer money abroad through your bank. What we at Smart Currency have found is that we are often able to do away with certain banking fees if your currency exchange is done through us and, let’s face it any money saved on unnecessary bank charges is a real plus.

That is not the only way that the banks rip off the man on the street when sending money abroad – or indeed returning it to the UK from abroad.

Smart Currency have long commented on the fact that high street banks do not go to the money markets to get exchange rates for clients as and when they require foreign currency. Rather, they fix an exchange rate at the beginning of the day, one that what ever happens during the day will still bring them a profit. Looking at the way currencies have fluctuated recently you can imagine how high they set the bar to ensure they were not caught short at any stages – a scary thought indeed.

At Smart we call into the trading floor to get an up to the minute exchange rate just for you, at the time of your transaction. Smart charges neither commission nor do the traders take any commission cut but operate on a fixed salary. This guarantees that they have only YOUR interest at heart…indeed, we are the only currency company to operate in this way.

You will also get your own dedicated Smart trader, who you can call directly. Try speaking to anybody when phoning your bank: if I have to push one more button or speak to one more automated voice when I attempt to contact my bank I feel I will scream! Spot contracts, forward contracts, order to call, order to buy: these may all seem like confusing concepts but a few moments chat with your trader will set you on the right path – the one that is right for you.

It will cost you far less than your high street bank – guaranteed!

Jargon Buster – Forward Contract

A Forward allows you to reserve a currency exchange rate today, yet not have to pay for it or send the money until an agreed date in the future.

This option is fantastic for property buyers that have staged payments (or are paying for a new build in instalments) and want to ensure against unexpected changes (in either direction) in the price of their currency. This is especially handy if you need to work to a budget.

To discuss your options with us call in now on free phone 0808 163 0102 (+44 0207 898 0541)

A Happy Smart Customer

Recently at Smart we have had many clients coming to us from our competitors. One particular example was a couple who had used another currency broker in the past when sending money overseas and had got in touch with the same company again whilst selling their UK property. The client struggled to get through to their main point of contact at the organisation and was eventually told that this person would call them back. When they did eventually hear back from their Trader, he wasn’t interested in discussing the matter, until the funds were actually available. This made the couple explore the possibility of other brokers and thus lead them to Smart.

The major difference at Smart is that its Traders are not paid on a personal commission basis, so you can speak to any of the Traders and get the same quotation with the same high level of service. Secondly, our Traders are more than happy to discuss requirements with you, whether they are a year away or instant. All in all, the couple mentioned are now incredibly happy with their service with Smart.

Find out how we can help you by calling free phone 0808 163 0102 (+44 0207 898 0541)

For more information on Smart Currency Exchange, please call our freephone: 0808 163 0102 (+44 (0)207 898 0541 from outside the UK) or visit our website at:

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