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A look back at Mark Carney's first year with the Bank of England

Mark Carney has just finished his first year in charge of the Bank of England.

We thought we would take a look back at the Top 5 stories that travelled across the web during his tenure.

1. Mark Carney's first week in charge

Carney set the tone for how the markets would move towards the Pound in his first week in charge; impressing economists, the markets, and even a group of determined protestors five days into his new job.

Firstly, he calmed the protestors.

A group of female protestors, armed with 33,000 signatures of support, were aggrieved at the lack of a female figurehead on the next batch of banknotes.

Having received 'no reply' throughout the month of April prior to Carney taking on the role, he set up a meeting with the protestors by his second day in office.

Secondly, he chaired his first Monetary Policy Committee Meeting Taking over from Mervyn King, and impressed the hacks and markets at the same time.

Convincing the committee to commit to a policy of 'forward guidance', Carney set out that he would only use the levers available to him such as the increase of interest rates, as and when certain macro-economic signals had been met, such as lower unemployment.

The 7% threshold was set, and subsequently lowered in February to much criticism from commentators and markets alike, but is seen as pro-active rather than re-active thinking from the committee vs. the reign of Mervyn King.

2. Carney trims Bank of England loan program amid housing bubble fears

Amid a year of strengthening Sterling, and rocketing house-prices amongst the South East of England, Carney looked to take the heat out of the market with his first major intervention in November.

Carney announced on the 28th of November that he would be pulling the plug on cheap mortgage lending, or The Fund for Lending Scheme in order to stop a buoyant housing market overheating.

3. Carney recasts his original Forward Guidance

On the Eve of Valentines Day this year, Carney announced to the markets that he would be adjusting, or 'recasting' his Forward Guidance initiative.

Originally, he stated that when unemployment dropped below 7%, this would be the trigger to raise interest rates accordingly. Unemployment that month dropped to below 7%, but instead of sticking to the original guidance, he added more reference points required to trigger a rise.

4. Carney's Financial Policy Committee Caps Mortgages to Cool Housing Market

Fast forwarding to last week, Carney's latest and largest intervention to date for the average man on the street saw him cap mortgages to cool the housing markets.

The key out-takes being: -

  • New mortagages at 15pc Loan to Value can only be lent to 4.5 x an income
  • Bank to stress test borrowers to see if they repay if base rates hit 3pc
  • Buy-to-let borrowers limited to 4.5 times income
  • Loans of 4.5 times income no longer be available under Help to Buy

The Pound keeps on rising since he has been in charge

Since Carney has taken over at the Bank of England, the Pound has moved on from strength to strength.

After an initial dip, the Pound has rocketed to near 2 year highs against the EURO (1.253) and 5.5 year highs against the Dollar (1.7147).

To check out what these current highs mean for your potential money transfer requirements, be sure to check out the below links to see how far your Pound balance will go today.

Send £10,000 to the Eurozone

Send £10,000 to the USA

BNP Paribas to pay $9bn to US

-Will they get a good exchange rate?

BNP Paribas has reached a $9bn settlement with US prosecutors over the allegations of sanction violations with countries such as Sudan, Iran and Cuba.

More interesting, the bank will be prevented from clearing in certain US dollar pairs for the whole of 2015.

With our tongue firmly in our cheek, we reach out to BNP Paribas and say "Voulez-vous économiser plus d'argent?". The exchange rates on compared on this site typically save £250m on this large international money transfer.

Send £9bn from France to USA

Markit Data Continues to Boost Sterling

Markit Data for Manufacturing has just been released across the Eurozone.

The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) is released by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply and the Markit Economics Organisation, capturing business conditions within the given period across the manufacturing sector.

As manufacturing dominates a large part of total GDP, Manufacturing PMI is an important indicator of the overall economic health of the UK. A result above 50 signals is bullish (or good!!) for the GBP, whereas a result below 50 is seen as bearish (not so good!).

The UK continues its momentum beating the forecasted 56.8, coming in at 57.5, whereas Germany, the powerhouse of the European Economic Union came in at 52.0 vs. the forecasted 52.4 for June.

We expect a shift towards Sterling in the short term unless Unemployment Data for the Eurozone provides a counterbalance to weaker Manufacturing Data.

To see the latest rates on transferring Sterling into the Eurozone, check out our GBPEUR listings here.



A strong day for Sterling sees 5.5yr highs against the Dollar

The Pound continued to gather momentum yesterday against the major pairings, with Sterling hitting a 5.5-YR High vs. the US Dollar (to 1.71) underpinned by traders continuing to believe in a near immediate interest rate hike in the UK.

Sterling performed admirably against the majors yesterday as markets continued to react to mixed signals coming from the Monetary Policy Committee.

It is now estimated that rates will increase by 25 basis points, or 0.25% in November to 0.75% and then by a further 175 basis points to 2.50% by mid-2017.

The only counterbalance to this was news that mortgage approvals dropped to an 11-month low during May to 61,700. Although the volume of approvals dropped, the total amount lent rose to £2BN, the largest amount lent since the beginning of the financial crisis.

As the markets open for trading today, the latest base rates for Money Transfers from the UK are as follows: -

GBPEUR = 1.2490 GBPUSD = 1.710 GBPCHF = 1.5168

Be sure to check out our best rates on GBPUSD to take advantage of the 5 year highs.



Money really can grow on trees – Hedging your foreign exchange

Risk management has gained prominence for all businesses but in particular small businesses since the financial crisis. While maintaining cash flow and managing debtors is standard practice for most financial officers, it is worrying how many SMEs do not consider foreign exchange as part of their risk management strategy.

Currency swings, such as the GBUSD movement we reported last week can have a huge impact on forecasting, cash flow and profitability. Managing this risk by hedging the foreign exchange not only secures an agreed exchange rate, but could save SMEs a fortune should a currency move against them.

There is always the chance that a currency could move in your favour but in general it a risk that most SMEs are happy to avoid. Visibility on a foreign order book and the confidence of a hedged exchange rate far outweighs the risks of perhaps squeezing a couple of points on a spot exchange rate.

Our foreign exchange brokers are specialists able to buy and sell most currencies. Brokers are able to offer forward contracts on currencies, allowing SMEs to actively manage their currency risk by hedging. They also offer spot rates and so SMEs can, under some circumstances, enjoy both sides of the coin, choosing between a booked forward contract or a spot rate depending on which is most profitable or convenient.

Whether hedging or not, one thing is certain; the rates offered by foreign exchange specialists will always beat the rates offered by most banks. The spread offered (the difference between a buy and sell price) can vary by as much 5% from banks, whereas our brokers offer spreads of between 1% and 1.5%. This difference in spread translates into more money, as you receive more of the currency that you are buying.

Take a look how much you could save by completing the form on this page.

Send £5000 to China (GBPCNY)

Send $10,000 to UK (USDGBP)

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