Wise policy head: Banks, uncover hidden markups and let us know.

January 23, 2024
1 min read


  • Fintech company, Wise, is urging banks to disclose their hidden markups on foreign exchange transactions.
  • Wise claims that consumers are losing out on billions of dollars due to these undisclosed fees.

Banks have been criticized by Wise’s EMEA policy head, Magali Van Bulck, for hiding charges on foreign exchange transactions and not disclosing the markups they apply. According to Van Bulck, while banks advertise transfers as free or low cost, they fail to inform customers about the 3% to 4% markup they are actually charging. This lack of transparency is believed to cost customers billions of dollars each year.

Van Bulck emphasized that Wise is not attempting to dictate the fees banks should charge, as that is a commercial decision each bank can make. However, she believes that banks have a responsibility to disclose these hidden markups to their customers so they can have a clear understanding of how much they are being charged.

Hidden fees and undisclosed markups are a common issue in the financial industry, particularly in foreign exchange transactions. Customers often find it difficult to understand the true cost of these transactions, resulting in them unknowingly paying more than they should. Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, aims to disrupt the traditional banking system by providing customers with transparent and low-cost international money transfer services.

This call for disclosure of hidden markups highlights the ongoing need for increased transparency in the financial industry. By making consumers aware of the fees they are being charged, they can make informed decisions and potentially save significant amounts of money. While Wise is leading the way in transparency and low-cost transfers, it remains to be seen whether traditional banks will respond to this call for increased disclosure.

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