Skip to main content

Banks are still hiding fees

In 2020, the landmark Cross-Border Payments Regulation should have forced banks to become transparent. But banks are still hiding fees in exchange rate mark-ups.

What is the Cross-Border Payments Regulation?

According to the EU’s Cross-Border Payments Regulation (CBPR2), providers need to inform a customer prior to the initiation of the payment transaction, in a clear, neutral and comprehensible manner, of the estimated charges for currency conversion services applicable to the credit transfer.

The Law also sets out that it was necessary to come up with additional rules in order to protect consumers against excessive charges for currency conversion services – and to ensure that consumers are given the information they need to choose the best currency conversion option.
Illustration of a document

How hidden fees impact you

We looked at the state of transparency in different European countries, checking whether their banks comply with the rules.
Of banks are not fully transparent


Average mark-up in the UK


Transparent banks


Is your bank transparent?

We looked at a number of banks across different European countries. View the table below and download the reports.
Table showing transparent banking information of European banks

View all the reports

How to spot hidden fees

Hidden exchange rate markup

Some banks present their exchange rate as the exchange rate. But they are in fact adding a markup, they just don't tell you about it.
Image showing example of where bank hide their fees

Misleading upfront fees

Some banks say a transaction is free or there is just a low upfront fee. This tricks people into thinking that's the whole story, when most of the fees are hidden in an inflated exchange rate.
Image showing example of where bank hide their fees


Information on this website has been collected from each of the featuring banks, by following their money transfer flows.

Research focuses on intra-EU payments for all European Union countries and for payments from GBP to EUR for the UK. These payments are subject to the Cross-Border Payments Regulation.

Euro foreign exchange reference rates provided by the European Central Bank (reference rates are based on a regular daily concertation procedure between central banks across Europe, which normally takes place at 14:15 CET) and Google Finance.

Screenshots collected between August 2022 and May 2023.

This is a one-off snapshot from the bank's payment journey at a specific point in time. These payments flows are subject to change. The exchange rate markups may fluctuate.