Fluent in Foreign Exchange
Every year we help thousands of individuals save money on their foreign currency payments for property purchase, emigration, overseas mortgage repayments, etc.
If you make or receive payments in a foreign currency, we could save you a great deal of money and make your currency transfers simple.
We guarantee much better exchange rates than the ‘tourist rates’ you would normally get from your bank and can save you up to 6% on currency transfers typically saving you £5,000 on a £100,000 transfer.
A is for Account:
Open a free account with us - Your account can be opened the very same day and you will be assigned a dedicated account manager.
B is for Better Rates:
Your account manager will keep you informed on currency market movements and get the best exchange rate for you at the time. Once agreed, this rate is then guaranteed for you.
C is for Currency Transfer:
Once you have paid for your currency we will immediately transfer the money to the bank account specified by you, anywhere in the world.”
Benefits at a Glance
- Highly competitive exchange rates
- Quick and easy same-day transfers
- Free tailored service with our currency experts
- Dedicated Relationship manager
- Safe & Secure transfers
- Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority
- Segregated Barclays Bank Client Accounts
Managing currency market risk in uncertain times
29 May 2020
Unprecedented events certainly haven’t been in short supply so far in 2020. Forget the political jousting that defined 2019 and eventually saw Boris Johnson achieve a landslide election victory – after all, general elections haven’t exactly been in short supply in recent times. This year has seen the UK – and the world – thrust into the unknown by two unique events: Brexit, which was on the horizon for some time; and the Covid-19 pandemic, which escalated into a global health crisis in a matter of weeks.
The phrase out of the frying pan into the fire springs to mind for the pound this year. No sooner had Brexit finally happened, Covid-19 swept across the globe, driving currency market volatility beyond the levels experienced during the 2008 financial crisis.
Britain’s departure from the EU on 31 January this year – making it the first country to leave the political and economic union – certainly wasn’t the start of the Brexit saga, nor is it the end of it.
The onset of political and economic uncertainty that followed the UK’s decision to leave the EU has shown little sign of abating since the 2016 referendum. As the Brexit process rumbled on from one deadline to the next, the pound came under significant pressure for a prolonged period.
Talking of deadlines; when Brexit finally became official back in January, the UK immediately entered an 11-month transition period until 31 December – the date by which UK government and EU officials must agree their future relationship on key issues like trade.
The government can request an extension to this deadline, provided they do so before 1 July. However, it has repeatedly made it clear its intention to get the job done by the end of the year. This bold move is seen as an attempt to force the EU into agreeing a comprehensive free trade deal within the transition period, leading to a fresh bout of political uncertainty for the pound.
Key events remaining in the current transition period:
- June – EU-UK summit, during which both sides will have to decide whether they can finalise their new trade relationship by the end of 2020.
- 26 November – the last possible moment for the EU to sign off on an agreement if the transition period is to end by 2020.
- 31 December – end of the transition period.
The draconian measures required to control the rapid spread of Covid-19 – including travel and lockdown restrictions – have stalled economies, increased unemployment levels, and left many countries on the verge of a recession. This sudden economic shock has also caused currency markets to shift like never before; as has the emergency fiscal action taken by governments and central banks worldwide, in a bid to help economies weather the storm.
News of any further fiscal measures in the UK, US and Eurozone will be announced following upcoming central bank meetings:
- Bank of England – 18th June
- US Federal Reserve – 1st July
- European Central Bank – 4th June
Exchange rate fluctuations impact the cost of making international payments for businesses that operate across international borders. Those that neglect their exposure to this currency market risk are left counting the cost of transferring money overseas, which puts unnecessary pressure on margins and prices. Corporate and SME decision-makers must, therefore, recognise the importance of managing this Brexit and Covid-19-fuelled risk, now and in the future.
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution for preventing unpredictable exchange rate fluctuations from denting your business’s finances. You should work in partnership with a currency specialist to develop a bespoke FX hedging strategy that considers your market expectations and risk appetite in the context of your requirements. Your strategy will combine appropriate currency products that are designed to help you manage the cost of your international payments by mitigating currency risk.
Forward contract – allows you to lock in the current market rate, so you can fix a price for your international payments for up to two years.
Limit order – allows you to target an exchange rate that’s not currently available, so you can secure your desired level the moment the market reaches it.
Stop-loss order – gives you the option to set a minimum exchange rate that you would want your payment to be executed at. If the rate falls to this level, the transaction will be executed automatically so you avoid a further decrease in value.
A one-cancels-the-other order (OCO) is a common FX hedging strategy that enables cross-border businesses to combine two or more orders, with the condition that if one order executes, then the other order is automatically cancelled. For example, a business might choose to set an upper limit order and a lower stop-loss order at which they want a specified amount of currency to be sold at. If one is triggered, the other is cancelled, and the trade is free to be executed at the pre-set level.
Your dedicated account manager will work in partnership with you to develop a bespoke currency strategy that considers your business’s risks and requirements. From accurate insight into the rapidly changing economic landscape to assistance deploying agile solutions that guard your payments against unexpected rate fluctuations, we can help you stay in control of your international payments.
Euro higher on Covid-19 recovery fund proposal
29 May 2020
The euro edged higher yesterday following a report in Germany that the European Union plan to offer member states a €750bn coronavirus recovery fund.
The recovery fund is reported to include €500bn worth of grants with an additional €250bn to be offered as loans. Despite taking a huge step forward with this proposal, the European Commission are likely to face hefty opposition from Frugal states who argue that the issuance of grants sends the wrong signal by rewarding less financial sound states for financial mismanagement.
EU-UK trade talks have been an increasing focus during the month with time pressures mounting.
Rumours have circled this week that the EU is willing to make concessions on fishing rules at next week’s negotiations. Next week’s negotiations will be the final round before June’s key Summit and crucial in the overall process.
In comments on Tuesday, Bank of England (BoE) chief economist, Andy Haldane, stated that the bank was considering all options to support the economy. However the bank is not remotely close to any decision on taking interest rates below zero, this seemed to ease a bit of pressure from Sterling.
13:00 – EUR – Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (YoY) (May)
13:30 – USD – Initial Jobless Claims
13:30 – USD – Gross Domestic Product Annualised (Q1)
RationalFX: helping in the hunt for PPE
29 May 2020
The escalation of Covid-19 into a global health crisis has seen the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers become one of the defining issues of the pandemic. According to the Health and Safety Executive, PPE is “equipment that will protect the user against health or safety risks at work”. When it comes to protecting people that are risking their own lives to save others from the disease, PPE includes gloves, medical masks, respirators, goggles, face shields, face masks, gowns, and aprons.
Despite it being essential for health workers to wear PPE to prevent infection, Britain has struggled to source sufficient supplies in what is a competitive international market. This has led to major concerns about the welfare of these key workers, who have repeatedly complained that they have insufficient PPE to do their jobs safely.
Demand for PPE hasn’t simply risen in line with the rapid rate of infections; it has accelerated even faster due to the risk of health workers transferring the virus to colleagues and others. Official government guidelines say that doctors, nurses, and care workers should replace gloves and aprons after every contact with a patient. While equipment such as face masks can be changed after each shift.
Unfortunately, meeting these standards has proved almost impossible as supplies run worryingly short. So much so that by mid-April health officials said that certain items of PPE may be reused rather than discarded, with some medical staff even having to improvise by using bin liners as makeshift aprons.
The government has scoured the world for new PPE supply lines, in a bid to address these crippling shortages. As well as agreeing deals with over 100 international suppliers, it has also signed contracts with homegrown firms to dramatically ramp up PPE production domestically.
Addressing the nation, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I can announce that we have now signed contracts to manufacture two billion items of PPE here in the UK”, he added that “While we continue to improve the logistics and work hard to get everyone the PPE that they need, these new supplies mean that we’re not simply keeping up with demand. We are now able to begin to replenish our stockpiles”.
Identifying international suppliers – of both completed products and the raw materials needed to produce PPE in the UK – and agreeing to work with them is just the first step on the journey to addressing the supply crisis. Swift, cost-effective and secure international payments also play a vital role in opening supply chains.
Speed of payment is particularly important during these challenging times. Whether dealing with manufacturers overseas directly or agents that facilitate their international trade, invoices need to be paid in a timely fashion to keep the PPE supply chain moving. The faster international payments can be made to these suppliers, the faster this lifesaving equipment can be made available to those who need it the most.
Accessing competitive exchange rates is equally important when paying international invoices because the cost of doing so will fluctuate in tandem with them if they are left unaccounted for. Currencies are notoriously sensitive to dips in business and consumer activity. So, mounting evidence that the fallout from Covid-19 was strangling global trade and economic growth soon triggered a period of heightened market volatility – a trend that has driven exchange rate volatility beyond the levels experienced during the 2008 financial crisis and brought the need to manage currency market risk into sharp focus.
RationalFX has the knowledge and experience required to help your business benefit from quick, cost-effective, and secure international payments during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond.
- Unlike high street banks, which typically take 2-5 business days to complete international transactions, RationalFX offers a next working day service for all major currencies to anywhere in the world and between one and two days for most others.
- You can manage your business’s international payment requirements outside of office hours using your free-to-open online account.
- We can help you implement a bespoke currency risk strategy by introducing you to a range of tools that are designed to help you manage the cost of your international payments by planning ahead, such as Forward Contracts and Market Orders.
- We can offer exchange rates that are typically more competitive than the banks, who make the bulk of their profit by adding a hefty margin.
- Your dedicated account manager understands that timing is crucial when paying international invoices, ensuring they provide invaluable market guidance and insight.
- We are authorised and regulated by the FCA and registered with HMRC.
- We operate segregated client accounts with Barclays. This safeguards your funds against any serious operational difficulty.
Two week Sterling high against the Euro and US Dollar
27 May 2020
Sterling rose to two week highs against both the Dollar and Euro on Tuesday, boosted mainly by improving global risk appetite which saw the greenback fall.
The prospect of economies reopening around the world caused investors to become more optimistic which caused sterling to strengthen.
Boris Johnson announced the next steps on how restrictions will be eased with non-essential retail shops to be opened by 15th June if government tests are met. Sterling still remains under pressure due to the UK’s high death rates from Covid-19 and Brexit related risk, but easing of restrictions is likely to be pound positive.
The dollar fell across the board on Tuesday as optimism about a potential coronavirus vaccine and economies reopening worldwide led to investors to shrug off US-China tensions, reducing the demand for safe haven assets.
US-China tensions have been simmering in the background as the US repeatedly criticized Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. However investors have largely dismissed them due to optimism building of the prospect of economies restarting.
This was also supported by positive consumer confidence data for May showing the worst of the pandemic has passed and consumers are now preparing for the US economy to reopen soon.
08:30 – EUR – ECB President Lagarde Speaks
Euro remains stable ahead of EU proposal
27 May 2020
The Euro remained steady on Monday as a big week awaits ahead for the single currency.
European policy makers are set to announce the recovery fund this week which is aimed to help member nations which have suffered from the coronavirus pandemic.
Countries such as Austria, Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden want loans from a time-limited fund for nations struggling to recover from the pandemic, rather than the grants proposed by France and Germany last week for the European Union’s coronavirus recovery plan.
Initially the Franco-German proposal saw the Euro rally at the end of last week but the Euro now remains steady due to the counter proposal. An announcement is set to be made on Wednesday and markets expect any counter proposal or disagreements could push the Euro lower. However if the Franco-German proposal passes then the Euro is likely to strengthen.
2:00 – EUR – ECB Financial Stability Review
3:00- USD – CB Consumer Confidence – Forecast at 87.1 from previous 86.9