On 2 October 2018, the Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, issued a notice approving the ACCC to hold an inquiry into the supply of foreign currency conversion services in Australia.
An issues paper for the inquiry was released on 2 October 2018, and was closed to submissions on 22 October 2018. A questionnaire was also available for consumers and small businesses, which closed on 22 October 2018.
The ACCC received 62 written submissions and 147 questionnaire responses. See submissions received for further details.
In 2016, Australians sent around $8.8 billion overseas. The World Bank has found that the cost of sending money from Australia is significantly higher than both the G20 average and the global average cost. Australia was the third most expensive G20 country to send money from.
Through this inquiry, the ACCC will examine the pricing of foreign currency conversion services in Australia and evaluate whether there are impediments to effective price competition in the sector.
The inquiry will involve broad consultation and stakeholder engagement, including:
- seeking feedback in response to an issues paper
- targeted consultation with industry participants, regulators and consumer groups, and
- obtaining specific information from industry participants.
A report is to be delivered to the Treasurer by 31 May 2019.
The inquiry is the second task of the ACCC’s Financial Services Unit, which is also currently undertaking the Residential Mortgage Price inquiry. The Financial Services Unit proactively monitors and promotes competition in the financial services sector by assessing competition issues and undertaking market studies.