A few months ago Thai banks imposed a 300 Baht fee for withdrawing cash using a foreign debit or credit card. That’s about ₤6.35 per transaction. In theory cartels are illegal in Thailand, but that didn’t stop every single bank imposing exactly the same exorbitant charge within a matter of days.
Nationwide Building Society (motto: “Proud to be different”) used not to charge for overseas withdrawals. Earlier this year they introduced a 1% charge on such transactions, and they’ve just increased that to 2% – plus an additional ₤1 per transaction charge for cash withdrawals. So, if I were to withdraw 5,000 ฿ (₤105.78) the Thai banks would take ₤6.35, Nationwide, would take ₤3.12, and I’d be left with ₤96.31. In other words, the banks between them would have taken 9% of my money, and that’s for a service that until recently they provided for free. Such usury is iniquitous. But what can one do is the face of the greedy, grasping banks?