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Travelex, the infamous foreign exchange company whose branches you usually see at airports, fell into administration on Thursday with a prepacked deal with its noteholders.

The company is, in essence, split in two, and a special purpose vehicle takes over the viable parts while the rest, such as most of the UK retail locations have stopped trading.

You can access Travelex here.

Here’s the announcement from the PwC (administrator):

Download (PDF, 155KB)

Conclusion

First, let me say that I feel sorry for the employees who lost their job during this difficult time. But (there is always this but) is there need for a company like Travelex in the 21st century whose main purpose is essentially leech travelers that don’t know better than to exchange cash in one of their branches at absolutely terrible rates?

There are still some who prefer to carry cash on their holidays to keep a better tap on their spend, or who need to rely on prepaid currency cards, etc. There are just so many fees and lousy exchange rates involved with that 5% to 10% of the cash disappears along the way.

I often cringe when passing one of their airport branches if people are lining up to give their cash away. You may as well go and burn the notes at the street corner.

We may continue to see Travelex branches in countries (Brazil, Middle East & Turkey, Nigeria, and the Asia Pacific) that were transferred to the new company.

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