Love thy neighbour's currency
Make the most of exchanging your euros into sterling and vice versa
The relationship between the UK and Ireland is a close one, with friend and family ties spanning national borders, but money talks, and this is a relationship quite literally worth billions. However, foreign exchange might be costing individuals, businesses and investors more than it needs to.
The UK is the destination of choice for the Irish diaspora. According to the last UK census just under half a million British residents identified themselves as Irish and an estimated 6 million claim to have an Irish grandparent, and one in four (c. 15 million) have claimed some form of Irish ancestry. This goes some way to explain why the World Bank estimates we annually send the equivalent of $683 million to personal connections in the UK and our friends and family send $431 million back.
This is allied to the fact that the UK is Ireland's largest single trade partner; the UK government valued bilateral trade at £27 billion, we sell €15 billion worth of exports to the UK and directly invest circa £12 billion every year. Business connections are strong too - according the government there are over 45,000 Irish directors of British companies - representing 16% of all non-British directors in the UK, more than any other nationality.
But whilst we're both members of the EU, which makes moving people, goods and money over national borders very straightforward, the UK remains stubbornly outside the eurozone. Meaning all this money needs to be exchanged from euros into sterling and vice versa.
This means all the money moving between individuals, businesses and investors is subject to the whims of the foreign exchange market and its ever fluctuating rates. Over the past 12 months the euro has moved between £0.87 at its strongest in August 2013 and £0.8150 at its lowest in February 2014.
This makes a big difference. If you were one of those 45,000 company directors, transferring your salary home of £75,000 (average director salary in UK - Salarytrack.co.uk) you could either buy as much as €92,000 or as little as €86,200 depending on when you transferred - a difference of nearly €6000.
So if you work in the UK, have friends and family there, or want to invest in UK assets, you might be worried about the impact the foreign exchange market will have on your overseas money transfers to the UK. Fortunately the Irish Times International Money Transfer Service, provided by exchange experts Moneycorp, can help you navigate the market and get the most out of your money.
The exchange rates offered by Moneycorp are competitive, typically around 3% more competitive than a high street bank and with transfer fees starting from just €5, you stand to make substantial saving versus the €20-€40 a bank normally charges to make an international money transfer.
Where you stand to save hundreds, even thousands, is with the guidance provided by Moneycorp's market experts. Every customer is assigned their own personal account manager who can provide guidance on foreign exchange market behaviour and help with timing money transfers to achieve the best rates from the market.
If you are planning ahead your Moneycorp account manager can provide specialist services to fix rates in advance so you can easily budget for your money transfers. Alternatively they can also automatically target a better rate, not currently available on the market, so you can effortlessly get more from your money transfer.
With easy online access 24/7, and a helpful voice at the end of the phone during extended business hours, you can make your international money transfers and manage your foreign exchange needs at your convenience.
Make sure you get more pounds for your euros and see your sterling go further back at home with Moneycorp's expert help.