Is that your final offer?

Is that your final offer?

Mostly, I love what I do – helping people to manage their money better. Yesterday I was reminded again of the value that we can add to people’s lives…

A client called me about a forex transaction that she was busy with to see if I thought the rate that the bank was offering her was a fair one. A quick glance at the spot rates told me that they were offering her a rate that was 2% more than the spot rate…I told her that I thought it was too high, especially seeing as they were also going to charge her a fee for doing the transaction. I told her that she should ask them for a better rate. There was always the chance that they would decline it but if she did not ask she would not know.

She duly went back to the bank and asked them for a better rate…after consulting with their treasury department they told her that instead of R11.25 to the Sterling they could offer her R11.18…she accepted but was tempted to ask them if that was their final offer or if she asked again would they give her an even better rate.

Now this might not seem like a big deal but on R1million rand it amounts to a saving of just over R6600. Now in anyone’s language, that’s a lot of money…what really bugs me is if the bank could offer her this rate why did they not offer it upfront? And if she had not asked us about the transaction she would have been none the wiser…

So just how badly are the banks milking us and do they expect their clients to barter for rates hoping that there are enough “little old ladies” who dont know any better where they can make significant profits?