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By Donia O'Loughlin | Published Nov 03, 2010

People losing money in currency transfers

The foreign exchange specialist is encouraging those to use a currency specialist on exchange rates to avoid this scenario.

On 22 October, Currency Solutions requested a sterling/euro exchange rate from HSBC, Natwest, Barclays and Lloyds TSB to convert £10,000, £50,000 and £150,000 into euros.

The results of the survey showed that for a large currency transfer, the variation in exchange rates would have left individual customers thousands of pounds out of pocket depending on which bank they were using to exchange their currency.

The survey revealed that Natwest offered the best exchange rate of 1.1016 on a £10,000 currency exchange into euros, which equated to €11,016. Barclays offered the worst rate of 1.0644, or €10,644 - an immediate loss of €372 on a single transaction, according to Currency Solutions.

Both Lloyds TSB and HSBC offered a rate of 1.0700 on £10,000, which bought €10,700, or €316 less than the amount received through NatWest’s currency exchange service.

Christina Weisz, director at Currency Solutions, said: "It is easy to recommend that individuals and businesses shop around for the best rates, but in reality this is often not possible where high street banks and large financial institutions are concerned because of the complicated application structure and red tape that stands in their way.

"The difficulty in comparing exchange rates between different institutions is costing individual consumers and businesses thousands, or even tens of thousands of pounds in lost currency, particularly if they are carrying out regular international currency transfers."

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