• Sunday, March 03, 2024

Business

FCA fines Glasgow firms for breaking law

By: Pramod Thomas

THE financial regulator has fined three money transfer companies after they admitted to fixing prices charged to consumers in Glasgow.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fined Dollar East (International Travel & Money Transfer), Hafiz Bros Travel & Money Transfer, and LCC Trans-Sending (including its parent company, Small World Financial Services Group), over £150,000 collectively, for breaching competition law, a statement said.

The FCA found that between February 18, 2017, and May 31, 2017, the companies coordinated on specific exchange rates and transaction fees for money transfers from Glasgow to Pakistan.

This collaborative pricing affected transfers made through Dollar East and Small World branches.

Hafiz Bros, although not serving customers in Glasgow directly, was found to have facilitated this conduct.

The fines imposed are as follows: Dollar East £3,600, Hafiz Bros £11,200, and Small World £139,500.

Sheldon Mills, executive director of consumers and competition at the FCA, said: “Money transfer businesses are an important service relied upon by many communities up and down the country.

“We saw evidence of these businesses operating as a cartel, working together to fix their prices and exchange rates on money transfers.

“This behaviour can lead to customers being ripped off, and it erodes public trust. We take this extremely seriously and will use our competition powers to protect consumers across the UK.”

The companies acknowledged breaking competition law, leading to settlement discounts.

Additionally, the FCA has reminded other money transfer firms in Glasgow of their obligations under competition law.

The regulatory action follows the FCA’s earlier allegations and the firms’ opportunity to respond to the accusations via written and oral representations at the beginning of the year.

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