Fairer currency conversion would save EU consumers €4 billion a year

On the 5th November, the European Parliament votes on a new law that could put an end to misleading currency conversion charges in the EU. The proposed law, the Cross-border Payments Regulation, would force banks, brokers and currency exchange providers to be more transparent about their charges, putting money back into consumers’ pockets.

What’s the problem?

Under current EU legislation, banks and other foreign currency providers can hide the bulk of the cost of a transaction in a bad exchange rate. This means that banks can advertise holiday money and international payments as ‘free’ or as just costing a small upfront fee, but make most of their money by offering customers a bad exchange rate.

Europeans lose over €12 billion every year to these hidden charges

In 2017 alone, Europeans paid more than €18 billion in fees when exchanging currency, €12.49 billion of which were ‘hidden’ fees in marked-up exchange rates. This means that over two-thirds of fees are never clearly communicated.

We’re asking the EU to stop banks ‘pis-ing’ our money away

The Nothing to Hide campaign, led by Wise, has been raising awareness of the issue ahead of this crucial vote. As you can see above, local Brussels icon, Manneken Pis, plays a lead role in a punchy statement by Belgium’s most famous political cartoonist, Lectrr. We've got more planned, so stay tuned. It's time to #knowwhatyoupay.

About Wise

Wise is a global technology company, building the best way to move money around the world. With the Wise account people and businesses can hold over 50 currencies, move money between countries and spend money abroad. Large companies and banks use Wise technology too; an entirely new cross-border payments network that will one day power money without borders for everyone, everywhere. However you use the platform, Wise is on a mission to make your life easier and save you money.

Co-founded by Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, Wise launched in 2011 under its original name TransferWise. It is one of the world’s fastest growing, profitable technology companies and is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker, WISE.

16 million people and businesses use Wise, which processes over €10 billion in cross-border transactions every month, saving customers over €1.6 billion a year.

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