HSBC Charges for Non-Sterling transactions/cash in Gibraltar

HSBC charges in Gibraltar for Non-sterling cash and non-sterling transactions

I have been visiting Gibraltar for nearly ten years now since my daughter moved there with her job. I noticed that my HSBC flexi-saver account have been charging me 'non-sterling cash charge' for withdrawing sterling from ATM machines. I am also being charged non-sterling transaction fee for making purchases (in GBP sterling) in shops and cafes in Gibraltar. I am in the process of calculating these costs, but to give you an idea, between April-Jun of this year alone, I have paid 18.89 in non-sterling charges in Gib using my HSBC atm debit card. I have sent the bank secure messages and got no reply. Their live chat, based abroad, says its a currency convergent (yep really) charge. Twitter says its a conversion charge as its Gib Pound, although such a thing does not in fact exist; it is still GBP sterling, in the same way I believe, the Scottish pound is still GBP sterling. The twitter reply to my tweet says the charge is the same as if I were using the Euro. The point is, I am NOT converting to euro, but withdrawing sterling. Furthermore, not all ATM's in Gibraltar incur the charges, nor does every cafe or shop. Its literally pot luck as whether or not the charges will be levied. There seems to be no rhyme and reason as to why some do and some don't. I have even had a charge of £1.75 incurred for a contactless transaction of £1.80 which is clearly way above the 2.5% transaction fee for foreign transactions. These charges have at times put my balance into the minus!! Any advice anyone? Going round in circles here and feel like Im getting the mushroom treatment! (kept in the dark and fed on s***) Thanks in advance, Cat


  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
    26.6K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I doubt you'll get any refund of charges for withdrawing money abroad regardless of the currency withdrawn or how the charge is described on your statement.
    My advice is to find out the ATMs, shops and services which do not charge and use them.
    Even here in mainland Britain there are ATMs which charge and (many others) which don't.
  • Hi, thank you for taking the time to reply. I know that some atm charge in the uk (for example the ones in airports or convenient ones etc) but these usually tell you they are charging. The laws in Gibraltar categorically state that the currency is GBP sterling and as such, promises to deliver the bearer the amount on the face value of the note (ie £10 sterling) I also found this reply:

    Accordingly, if you use a pound sterling account linked debit card at an ATM in Gibraltar you should certainly not be charged any currency conversion fees on a sterling cash withdrawal. (You used to VERY VERY rarely hear of a bank that tried to do a sterling to sterling conversion - but they were rare and I've not heard of any such reports in a few years)

    This is what I'm trying to ascertain. Ive sent my bank three secure messages, which they are supposed to reply within 48 hours and to date, it's been over a week since I messaged the first time.

    I would have thought the wording was important; ie that they specifically name the charge as 'non-sterling cash' when it is clearly a GBP sterling cash withdrawal.

    Anyway, I will keep on trying to get answers, as none of the ATM tell you they will or 'may' charge a fee. Nor do they tell you how much that fee will be. Thanks for your reply though.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
    26.6K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    cat.hug wrote: »
    Anyway, I will keep on trying to get answers
    Since Gibraltar Sterling is not legal tender other than on the Rock, I think that bluntly you are wasting your time.

    The Gibraltar Pound £ is actually the currency of Gibraltar. It is however pegged and exchangeable at the same rate to the British Pound £. Both currencies are widely accepted in shops over there. The Gibraltar Pound is however not legal tender in the U.K.
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