TRAVELLERS at one of Britain’s busiest airports are being charged for changing money - but it’s for exchanging Scottish banknotes for their English equivalent.
The Travelex booth at Newcastle airport charges Scots £3 for the privilege of swapping their notes.
In many branches the commission rate for foreign currency transactions applies to the sterling swap, treating both Scottish and Irish notes like a foreign currency.
A spokesman said: “Travelex charges a standard £3 commission charge on all currency transactions under £500 at its shop at Newcastle airport and if a customer was trying to change English bank notes into Scottish notes the £3 standard charge would apply.
The official currency of the United Kingdom is the pound Sterling...so switching Pound Sterling into Pound Sterling ((no matter what pretty design may be on the note) is not a "currency" transaction.*
“Scottish bank notes are however legal tender throughout the UK and Travelex would not advise customers to exchange English bank notes into Scottish notes as they will incur the charge.
It's a bit difficult if you're coming from a place (like, say, off the top of my head...Scotland) where the vast majority of notes in circulation are Scottish ones.
For once I'm in total agreement with the SNP:
The SNP MSP Ian McKee, who was born in South Shields, Newcastle, thinks that work needs to be done to change perceptions of the Scottish bank note.
“What we need is parity of esteem between Scottish and Bank of England notes."
*Some banks do, of course, charge for switching coins into notes for non-customers; it's still a money-grabbing nonsense but can be justified, to an extent, for the amount of time involved in carrying out the transaction...but switching two notes of exactly the same value??