7 Sep 2011

Even better - How about an FTT of 21.5%

I didn't think that it could get worse. Paying 10% to change euros into pounds and vice versa at Toulouse airport was already a lot - see my blog . Then I discovered that Travelex would charge over 14% to change euros into Croatian, Saudi or Egyptian currency.

But, Reisebank at Munich airport can offer even more impressive terms. I went to their exchange desk and asked to buy 1000 Croatian Kunas (HRK). According to one online exchange rate site, this should cost me €132.27. But of course, thanks to the miracle of the bank imposed transaction fees, it actually cost €162.82. Then when 3 minutes later and at the same kiosk, I changed the 1000 HRK back into euros, I only got €105.48. Amazing! Effectively, they had charged me a 19.5% transaction fee each way.

But it gets worse. At another Reisebank terminal, I purchased 500 Egyptian Pounds for €80.01. But a couple of minutes later when I changed them back into euros, I only got €49.19 back. That means that I effectively lost over 21.5% of my money on each transaction. The guy behind the desk didn't seem to appreciate the fact that I found the whole thing hysterically funny. Well, you have to laugh don't you?

If you can find even more impressive Financial Transaction Taxes than 21.5% then please let me know. It's actually a very amusing way to fill some spare time in airport terminals.

But the moral is, that the banks, who claim that they should be allowed to continue trading $4 trillion per day in foreign exchange without paying anything do not have a leg to stand on.

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