Three money transfer firms have been fined by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after admitting to fixing prices charged to customers in Glasgow.

All three admitted to the FCA that they broke competition law and therefore received reduced fines which came to a combined total of more than £150,000. The FCA has also written to other money transfer firms in the city to remind them of their obligations under competition law.

The price fixing affected transfers made by customers at the Dollar East and Small World branches in Glasgow. The FCA found that Hafiz Bros Travel & Money Transfer Limited, while not operating a branch serving customers in Glasgow, facilitated this conduct. 

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The FCA found that between February 18, 2017 and May 31, 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. 

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

“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.” 

Dollar East (International Travel & Money Transfer) Ltd has been fined £3,600, while Hafiz Bros has been fined £11,200. LCC Trans-Sending Limited and its parent company Small World Financial Services Group Limited, which trades as Small World, has been fined £139,500.