Money Moves

Expanded service in foreign exchange market

By Elaine Chow

This is a fortnightly series of articles focusing on the banking and financial industries

A new direct foreign exchange (DFX) service is to be launched by Travelex Hong Kong Limited providing customers with competitive commercial exchange rates, convenient cut-off dates and same day settlements. The service, which was previously offered only to major corporate customers for their international business, will also encompass locked-in foreign exchange rates, telegraphic transfers, emergency drafts and traveller's cheques.

Customers will be able to access the service by phone from convenient locations in major airports and key cities in over 30 countries. Successful launches have already taken place in the US in September and Singapore in December 2004 and there are plans to expand to Australia in the near future.

"The initial stage, which was conceived two to three years ago, will attend to the multi-level demands of high net worth individuals, whether they be making an overseas investment or wiring funds abroad," says Ivy Hui, senior executive of the DFX team. "In response to growing demand from customers, our market positioning and business focus will therefore be geared more towards foreign exchange, which will take priority over traveller's cheques and other related services."

Those making use of the DFX service can enjoy favourable exchange rates and handling charges as well as exclusive one-stop travel services. They will also receive expert advice when planning for their children's education, making arrangements for mortgage payments on overseas properties, and setting up offshore investments or capital transfers to overseas business partners.

An additional service, to be introduced in March 2005, will allow for renminbi cash remittances to Shanghai, Beijing and other major cities in China.

"We are confident that DFX will provide the most efficient means and the most extensive network of services for transferring foreign exchange funds across the world within the Travelex system," says Ms Hui.

Since its acquisition of Thomas Cook in 2001, the company has become the largest non-banking foreign exchange specialist and has trading operations on four continents, close links with over 4,000 financial institutions worldwide and transactions with over 29 million customers a year.

Taken from Career Times 31 December 2004, p. 2
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