By Claire West

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.

Angered at the fact that holiday makers are effectively charged for the privilege of taking money out of their own account, Consumer Focus have 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.

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