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Loyalty just doesn’t pay in foreign exchange

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When you last changed money into a foreign currency, did you carefully compare exchange rates and fees charged by a range of financial institutions outside the big four banks?

And when you're shopping at a foreign website, do you think about what type of bank card will give you the lowest currency conversion cost?

The ACCC's inquiry into foreign currency conversion services advised consumers to shop around.Credit:Rizwan Tabassum

If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, well done, you're probably saving yourself some money on foreign exchange.

If you answered "no," you may be part of a larger group who takes the simpler option and uses their regular bank when making a forex transaction. That makes you at greater risk of getting a bad deal, if a recent report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is any guide.

The competition watchdog this month published a detailed report on its inquiry into the forex market, where it said the big banks often offered poor value, but were allowed by their customers to get away with........

© The Age