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Online firms eye slice of UK markets in money transfers, currency spreads

The businesses get a boost from the uproar over alleged currency market manipulation by major banks

London

WORKING out of a shared office near London's Euston station, Michael Kent is part of a revolution that may be driven on by this year's row over alleged currency market manipulation by major banks.

Mr Kent's online business, Azimo, and more than 30 others in the United Kingdom are building on the success of firms like Western Union and MoneyGram International in carving out a chunk of the market in international money transfers, travel money and card payments.

Their pitch is simple: in the era of electronic money, the 4-12 per cent fees banks charge consumers for any transaction involving foreign currency is ludicrously expensive. Today, to transfer £100 (S$203 or 125 euros) to Germany, British...

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