Oxfam and TransferWise to help British Indians escape £35m in bank fees this Diwali

Oxfam and TransferWise to help British Indians escape £35m in bank fees this Diwali

Britain’s Indian community lose an estimated £35m in banking fees when they send money home at Diwali*, Oxfam warned today.

As Diwali, the Festival of Light, draws nearer, thousands of British Indians will unwittingly pay hidden banking fees when they send money home. Banks and traditional money remitters often take as much as 4 percent of the money sent – even when they claim there are ‘no fees’. They do this using an unfair exchange rate. Oxfam has partnered with TransferWise to take a stand against this.

TransferWise is also using its platform to support Oxfam’s vital work in South Asia by allowing customers to donate part of the money they would have lost to banking fees to Oxfam. Some of the money raised will be used to help those affected by the recent cyclone and floods in India.

Oxfam’s Chief Executive Mark Goldring said: "Oxfam understands the importance of sending money home for many in the UK Indian community. Many people will be thinking of those less fortunate during Diwali and will want to get money back home in an easy and affordable way. We are very excited that this unique partnership with TransferWise will help achieve this and save a great deal of money for people in the UK".

Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of TransferWise, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Oxfam to help stamp out hidden fees in international money transfer and alleviate poverty in South Asia. We hope to put millions back in Indians’ pockets – and raise millions for Oxfam’s incredible work while we’re at it!”

TransferWise uses technology developed by the people who built Skype and PayPal to cut out traditional banking fees altogether, giving customers access to the real mid-market exchange rate (that’s the rate published in the newspapers, not one invented by the banks). TransferWise charges just 0.5 percent to send money from Britain to India. It presents all its cost transparently before you make a transfer.

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