Western Union has unconscionable 9.16% spread on US$

Dear Editor,

Through the swift and commendable efforts of the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Bank of Guyana the spread between the buying and selling rates of foreign currency has reduced significantly, particularly in the commercial banks. Apparently this positive change does not seem to apply to Western Union which at its Hand-in-Hand Trust branch was yesterday morning selling the US$ at $213.50 and buying at $195. I called two other agents of Western Union and they too were offering identical rates.

Editor, these money transfer agencies do most of their business with poor people to whom a couple percentage points mean a lot. To charge a spread of 9.16 percent is in my opinion unconscionable and extortionate, and should be brought to an immediate end.

As you will see from the table compiled from the Board of the branch, the abuse is not restricted to the US Dollar transfers. Interestingly, the currency with the highest percentage spread is the Trinidad and Tobago Dollar.

Yours faithfully,

Christopher Ram

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