FCA fines three money transfer firms for breaking competition law


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has imposed fines on three money transfer firms after they admitted to fixing prices charged to consumers in Glasgow. 

Dollar East (International Travel & Money Transfer) Ltd; Hafiz Bros Travel & Money Transfer Limited; and LCC Trans-Sending Limited (including its parent company, Small World Financial Services Group Limited), trading as Small World, have been fined a combined total of more than £150,000 for breaching competition law.   

The FCA found that, between 18 February 2017 and 31 May 2017, the firms coordinated on certain exchange rates offered to customers in Glasgow for converting UK pounds into Pakistan Rupees, when transferring money to Pakistan. 

They were also found to have fixed the transaction fee charged to customers when making certain money transfers from the UK to Pakistan via Small World’s Services.  

This price fixing affected transfers made by customers at the Dollar East and Small World branches in Glasgow.  

The FCA found that Hafiz Bros, while not operating a branch serving customers in Glasgow, facilitated this conduct.  

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.” 

All three firms have admitted to the FCA that they broke competition law and, as a result, have received settlement discounts to reflect this.  

Separately, the FCA has also written to other money transfer firms in Glasgow to remind them of their obligations under competition law.