MONEY GROUSE

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The Independent Online
A reader from north London complains that when he went through Dover and bought French francs from Thomas Cook the spread between the buying and selling price was greater than that on offer in the high street.

Thomas Cook usually has three different sets of rates - in city centres, provincial towns and at points of entry and exit to the country .Yesterday, anyone buying francs would have received 8.1 to sterling in central London, 8.08 in the provinces and 8.11 at Dover. So although the spread was the largest at Dover - 0.86 between the buying price of 8.97 and the selling price of 8.11 - anyone buying francs would get a better deal. Central London's spread was 0.68 with Thomas Cook taking back francs at 8.78to the pound.

A spokesman said city centre branches handled high volumes and could work more economically. In locations owned by others, such as airports, it was obliged to offer different rates.

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