Currency exchange levy raises £3,500 in four days

A City firm has raised more than £3,500 for an international aid charity in four days with a pilot project for a voluntary levy on foreign currency transactions.

INTL Global Currencies, which provides exchange services for overseas development organisations, has carried out a week-long trial during which it imposed a levy of 0.005 per cent on its profits. The money will go to Widows and Orphans International, a charity for the relatives of Aids victims in Kenya.

The initiative was welcomed by Stamp Out Poverty, a network of voluntary organisations committed to raising money through the currency exchange markets for the purpose of international development.

David Hillman, coordinator of Stamp Out Poverty, said: "Even at a levy of half of a hundreth of a per cent, INTL has raised a significant amount. It shows it has great potential to raise more."

Philip Smith, director of INTL, said: "The levy trial has been very easy so far because it is so simple and straightforward to implement.

"I would be interested to hear any arguments about why it shouldn't be introduced properly."

INTL is now considering approaching its clients about whether to implement the levy permanently.

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