It’s no exaggeration to say that the pound has been ravaged by Brexit. On the fateful night of 23rd June 2016, when it was announced that the UK had voted to leave the EU, sterling plummeted by 11% in a ‘flash crash’ the likes of which are extremely rare. Since then there have been ups and downs but the general trajectory has been downward, something which is only too clear when you look at this graph plotting sterling’s value against the dollar over the last five years.
We have become used to dramatic events in British parliament over the last few years but last week was a particularly turbulent one with resignations, defections, 21 rebel Torys losing the party whip and MPs voting down a general election.
None of this was good news for the pound and its value yo-yoed up and down as each new drama played out, at one point hitting its lowest level since October 2016.
Of course underlying the pound’s volatility is uncertainty, the arch enemy of currencies. The big question mark still hanging in the air is whether Britain will crash out of the EU on 31st October with no deal, a scenario which would bring a whole new ball game of uncertainty to the table. Sterling is responding to these political machinations as it has over the last three years, rallying when something happens to make no-deal Brexit less likely and vice versa.
Whatever happens next, it seems inevitable that until we have a definitive resolution for Britain’s departure from the EU the pound will remain on the rollercoaster it has been on since Brexit became a reality.
To minimise the impact of a volatile pound on your financial planning, consider using a currency exchange specialist for transfers. We don’t recommend making knee-jerk changes to your overall financial plan in response to periods of volatility but when you are reviewing your finances with your adviser – something you should do regularly – it’s worth discussing diversification and whether your portfolio is adequately protected with a balanced mix of assets.
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