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Travelers shocked at UK airports: £=€ 99 cents; Lord King says “weak pound is positive”

Thursday, October 13th 2016 - 21:11 UTC
Full article 84 comments
Lord King said that for the UK slowing down economy “the fall in sterling is a welcome change”  Lord King said that for the UK slowing down economy “the fall in sterling is a welcome change”

Many travelers buying foreign currency at the UK's airports are now receiving less than one Euro to the pound, reports the BBC. The continued fall in sterling's value means that the average rate available at 17 airport bureaux de change is now just 99 euro cents to the pound. The worst rate is currently 88 Euro cents at Moneycorp at Southampton airport and the best is €1.06 from the Change Group at Glasgow Prestwick.

 Since the UK's Brexit vote in June, the pound has fallen sharply in value. The average US dollar rate at the airports is down to US$1.08 to the pound.

The survey of airport bureau de change currency rates was carried out by travel money firm FairFX on Monday morning. The firm's chief executive, Ian Strafford-Taylor, said many travelers would be shocked by the poor rates on offer.

“Currency firms operating in airports are known to offer the worst exchange rates down to taking big profit margins and today are shockingly offering holidaymakers below one euro to the pound,” he said.

“Unfortunately, if the pound falls even further, rates as poor as this could be seen at airport providers up and down the country - taking advantage of their captive audience of holidaymakers and business travelers.”

The survey found that most quoted rates for people buying Euros with sterling clustered around one Euro to the pound. That is far below the current wholesale rate of €1.11 to the pound, which is the rate at which banks are buying and selling the currencies between each other.

Another particularly low rate was 89 Euro cents from ForExchange at Cardiff airport.

The US dollar rates on offer at the 17 airports vary from just $0.97 to the pound from ForExchange at Cardiff airport, to $1.13 from ICE at Heathrow's Terminal. Those compare to the current wholesale market rate of just under $1.24 to the pound.

Bureaux de change at airports are notorious for their low rates. In the past, the firms operating them have explained that they have high running costs - for instance, because of their very long opening hours.

However, despite travelers shock and anger, there have been positive comments on sterling's performance Mervyn King, the former governor of the Bank of England, has welcomed the fall in the pound. In an interview with Sky News Lord King said: “The economy was slowing somewhat before the vote and we are in a position where the rest of the world is not offering us much help.

”So from that point of view the fall in sterling is a welcome change.“ He added that last week's ”flash crash“ in the pound had generated reactions which ”were over the top“.

”During the referendum campaign, someone said the real danger of Brexit is you'll end up with higher interest rates, lower house prices and a lower exchange rate, and I thought: 'dream on'“, because that is ”what we've been trying to achieve for the past three years and now we have a chance of getting it.”

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • The Voice

    Anyone buying currency at an airport is barmy.

    Oct 13th, 2016 - 09:43 pm +6
  • The Voice

    Mr Think, why should we be concerned about Brits who choose to live abroad its not as though they are contributing anything to the country? Very often they are very negative about Britain, which is probably why they are living abroad.
    And as for depreciating currency you must know all about that. It has lost ground but its still 18.45 to the £ !

    Oct 14th, 2016 - 02:20 pm +6
  • The Voice

    Ah, but Mr Voice, the long term residents on them islands are mostly Falkland Islanders, resident in a British Overseas territory. So glad you got the Islands name correct much to the displeasure of the fake Argy Viking.
    I have no problem paying taxes to protect them from beligerant neighbours, its the least we can do. And yes, your taxes are helping to pay for it, just as we, the English, are paying to support you.

    Oct 14th, 2016 - 05:10 pm +4
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