FEXCO today announced the acquisition of the UK’s original and longest established specialist retail foreign exchange operator, Changelink Ltd. Since it was founded in 1972, Changelink has occupied a prominent and market leading position in the London foreign exchange market.
Changelink represents FEXCO’s seventh acquisition in the UK since 2012. During that period FEXCO has grown its share of the UK market from zero to close to 10%, employing over 400 people and serving the Travel Money requirement of over 3m customers to a value of almost €2bn through its UK and Ireland wide network of 110 branches.
Commenting on the deal, Joe Redmond, Managing Director Retail Foreign Exchange Division, FEXCO, said:
“We are very pleased to have bought a business with the track record of Changelink, which was the UK’s first non-bank provider of retail foreign exchange services. This acquisition is indicative of our strong belief that cash will continue to play an important part in British travellers’ foreign exchange needs, and we continue to look for further acquisition to grow our UK business.
As bank charges associated with using debit and credit cards increase, and fraud levels rise, customers are increasingly seeing benefits in the convenience, reliability, security, anonymity and value that foreign cash provides. This explains why our transactions and revenues are growing exponentially every year, and why there are more banknotes in circulation today than ever before. The assertion that everyone is migrating to cards or mobile-based payments is not being demonstrated in our customers’ behaviour.”
In a recent survey of its customers FEXCO found that 90% said they would still be using cash in five years’ time with only 15% considering travelling without cash, so there is absolutely no sign of any migration from cash to cards or mobile. Customers surveyed stated that 64% of their ‘at destination’ spend was made in cash. The also asked FEXCO’s UK customers if Brexit was likely to affect their travel plans in anyway and 70% said no.
FEXCO remains on the lookout for appropriate value based acquisitions and will be expanding its highly successful UK retail and online model into new international markets.