Money Morsels: Banks 'cashing in on poor exchange rates'

HIGH street banks are raking in nearly £300 million a year from charging high fees for poor currency exchange rates, research out today claims.

Bank customers have forked out an average of 472 more for transferring money through high street banks than they would pay with independent services, according to Foreign Currency Direct (FCD).

It said that almost four in 10 people transferring money have used high street banks to carry out average foreign currency transactions worth almost 7,900.

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However the average bank offers exchange rates 6 per cent higher than those available elsewhere, the research claimed, amounting to bank profits of 1.47 billion over the last five years from poor exchange rates.

Scots most upbeat about keeping their job

SCOTS are more optimistic about their employment prospects over the next decade than people anywhere else in the UK, according to a new report.

Just a quarter of Scots feel their job is under threat – despite the economic uncertainty – the most upbeat view by far across the UK, the Vision of Britain 2020 report by Friends Provident showed.

Scots are also more likely to be happy in their jobs, with only 60 per cent planning to retrain for a new career, compared with 72 per cent across the UK as a whole.

And fewer Scots fret about achieving an optimum work-life balance, with 40 per cent worried about achieving a happy home and career medium, against 49 per cent of Londoners.

However, Scots are more likely than workers elsewhere in the UK to relocate in the future to keep their job, said Friends Provident, which found that 25 per cent would be prepared to move.

Identity scammers up to date on addresses

IDENTITY fraud scams are increasingly targeting victims at their current home address as fraudsters adopt more-sophisticated methods.

Identity fraud cases soared by a third last year, according to fraud prevention service CIFAS. The increase was driven by a 78 per cent rise in current address fraud, where fraudsters impersonate their victims more effectively by obtaining a full set of their details at their current address, rather than using details from old addresses, previously the more common approach.

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Using current address details, the scams make fake applications seem more legitimate and the fraud harder to detect.

Current address fraud accounted for more than 55 per cent of all identity frauds recorded in 2009, up from just 31 per cent in 2008.