In November 2014 TransferWise launched a campaign to bring an end to hidden bank fees. Once and for all. The petition attracted thousands of signatures within a few hours. Within a week, it had the support of MPs and was debated in parliament.
Now, in the run up to the 2015 UK General Election, the Conservative party have pledged an end to hidden bank fees if re-elected. Alongside legislation on increasing banking competition, the party has promised to require transparency on charges:
"We will require all mortgage lenders’ to standardise, and make transparent, the fees they charge on mortgages. We will also ensure all foreign exchange transactions include a clear breakdown of the cost of the service alongside a publication of the mid-market rate and the offered rate.
This should be available before a transaction is made and communicated in a way that can be understood by the average consumer. And we will ask the FCA to ensure that nobody uses misleading terms such as ‘free’ and ‘0% commission’ when fees are hidden in the rates being charged."
This is a significant step in the fight to end hidden fees in forex. Creating a transparent, fair market for consumers must be a priority.
While TransferWise welcomes this news, we’d like to see the same kind of commitment from politicians across the board. The challenge has been laid down to all UK parties to follow suit.
TransferWise co-founder Taavet:
“We’re calling for all UK political parties to build transparency into their manifestos. No UK consumer should be left in the dark about the true cost of the service they’re paying for. It’s an abuse of trust. It’s time that our financial system was based on fairness and not greed.”
With London leading the way for the rest of the world in fintech, it’s time that UK politicians united in support of challengers like TransferWise, Nutmeg and Funding Circle putting consumers first.
Show your support and sign the Stop Hidden Fees petition here.