menu close
arrow_forward CurrencyFair Blog

Report Finds Bank Advertisements Confusing And Misleading

June 16, 2014

In a recent article (Free Currency Transfer – Free Does Not Always Mean Free) we looked at the fact that many companies continue to get away with false promises in their advertising. In fact, in the UK, the national Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 31,298 complaints about 18,990 ads (none were about us, that’s for sure!). 

Bank Advertisements Confusing and Misleading

This time, the bad news about dodgy advertising comes from Down Under.

Bank Advertisements Confusing And Misleading

According to a new study and report, most Australians believe that not only are bank advertisements confusing, they are actively misleading. The report found that very few people know how to correctly interpret the financial content listed within the advertisements. 

Here at CurrencyFair we weren’t too surprised at the results because we constantly see examples from unscrupulous companies with misleading information about “0% Commission” and “Commission-Free Currency Exchange.”

Most people don’t know that the biggest fee when sending money internationally is often the exchange rate itself.

Most people don’t know that the biggest fee when sending money internationally is often the exchange rate itself. As explained in our earlier article on how to beat the interbank exchange rate, the interbank rate is the international standard rate used by the big banks to trade amongst themselves. Ordinary people don’t get access to the interbank rate.

Banks know this and that’s why they slap on an extra 3 – 6 per cent ‘spread’ on top of the 0% exchange rate they get to use. So you, as an everyday person, have to pay an extra 3 – 6% exchange rate just for the privilege of sending your money somewhere – and that’s before the fixed sending or receival fee they may charge on top.

Banks know this and that’s why they slap on an extra 3 – 6 per cent ‘spread’ on top of the 0% exchange rate they get to use amongst themselves.

For straight-forward transparency, click here to see how CurrencyFair works to save people money.

The report into banking advertising was a little disheartening:
Bank Ads Confusing and Misleading

  • 70.4% of respondents thought bank advertisements were ‘confusing’ 
  • 64.7% believed bank ads were ‘misleading’
  • Only a third of the people (33.1%) thought bank advertisements were ‘honest’
  • Only 26.4% of respondents said the bank advertisements were ‘clear’.

The results were very similar regardless of whether respondents spoke English as a first language or not.

Financial System Inquiry the opportunity for reform

The survey results come as the Australian Government’s Financial System Inquiry (FSI) considers changes to better position and broadly improve Australia’s financial system.

The Managing Director of the company commissioning the study, Peter Evers, said:

“How can people get the best deal? How can competition between financial institutions be effective if people don’t understand what’s on offer? We need a banking system where consumers are informed and confident and don’t have to wade through the fine print to determine the best deal.”

We need a banking system where consumers are informed and confident and don’t have to wade through the fine print to determine the best deal.

While the Government’s Financial System Inquiry will be reviewing the structure and efficiency of Australia’s entire financial system, CurrencyFair endorses calls being made for greater support for everyday consumers within the review process. The Financial System Inquiry should meet the needs of users and drive greater competition.

Fairer financial advertising that people can actually understand would be a good start.

Learn More

For straight-forward transparency, click here to see how CurrencyFair works to save people money.


See how CurrencyFair compares to other money transfer companies

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
comments powered by Disqus