By Tim Sheehan, MD of South West Foreign Exchange
Global trade has continued to face challenges throughout 2023 as inflation, high interest rates, Russia’s war on the Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas conflict, and tensions between the US and China show little sign of abating at the time of writing. So, how can Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce members navigate their FX strategy amid all this turmoil?
Any company who buys and sells goods from overseas must without doubt have some sort of continuous strategy to manage their foreign exchange exposure. The end of the year is approaching fast, and we’re starting to see some positivity coming out of the markets despite the aforementioned global unrest. Supply chain disruptions of 2020 to 2022 are steadily easing, so you should look more closely at your currency strategy to start 2024 afresh.
The British pound reached new multi-week peaks against the dollar and euro after the Bank of England’s Governor ratcheted up his campaign against expectations for interest rate cuts, warning that rates would not be cut “in the foreseeable future”.
Pound sterling started the week on a firm footing and could extend gains over the coming weeks if the market continues to buy Bailey’s message and reduce bets for the scale of cuts in the coming 12 months. All this helped the pound to dollar exchange rate to a 12-week high at 1.2626 and the pound to euro exchange rate reached a three-week peak at 1.1530.
FX services for import and export businesses
Even if your business imports or exports on an ad hoc basis, this should give you even more reason to look at the currency prices you are getting from your supplier to ensure you actually make as much money as possible on these deals! This is when bringing in the element of risk management can certainly help you out.
In short, FX services need to fit into your business strategy and probably quite near the top. We would urge businesses to look at foreign exchange and, particularly, the cost of international money transfers continuously. To do a comparison as part of your strategic plan could save you a lot of time and money.
Often businesses will simply turn to their bank. This is frustrating as most of us know they offer no real help in the purchase of currency or the hedging of currency risk, least of all if you are an SME. Therefore, many of these businesses will forfeit the chance to hedge and be safe. Please don’t think you are too small a company to speak to us, we don’t cherry-pick our clients like most other FX providers, we are happy to deal with anyone who deals internationally.
Benefits of using a foreign exchange company
So why use a foreign exchange company instead of a bank? Because this is all we do. Day in, day out we help our customers manage their treasury functions, making sure they are doing, as much as possible, the right thing at the right time. We proactively work with our clients to help them best manage risk and payments to produce a positive outcome on their balance sheet each year.
Secondly, there is always the aspect of time. As banks continue to provide impersonal and appalling service, the best options they can give is throwing an online currency platform at their customers and ask them to get on with it. This gives you no real help or guidance, just a platform to buy from. SWFX and its partners are specialists in this field and can provide the same online platforms but with added assistance. We also speak ‘bank ’if any problems occur so let us take the problems on board for you while you get on with your daily work.
However, the only way these improvements are going to happen is if you decide to allocate some time to engage with us and to see what we can do for you. Invest a small amount of time now and you, as has been proven, could save thousands of pounds and hours of your time.
If you want to see if you can save your business money on international money transfers or currency prices in 2024, then get in touch. As Chamber members that wants to support the local economy, we will gladly evaluate your FX strategy for FREE to analyse what changes or improvements can be made. Just to make it clear, we only make money on the deals we do for you; the rest of the time we spend helping and talking with you is free.
We are happy to visit you, speak on the phone or meet online. We are the experts in this field, not the banks, so please let us help you to start 2024 afresh knowing that you are not being overcharged or wasting your valuable time.
Chamber members can book their FREE FX consultation by contacting Tim Sheehan at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07788 756782.