Uncertainty not appreciated
In the meantime, an actual exit date was not fixed and an agreement not reached: a scenario that the markets did not applaud at all. Whatever the outcome, the economic world expects clarity above all. The outcome will not be long in coming. In the autumn of 2019, the Pound Sterling would plummet once again. On 12 December 2019, British Boris Johnson led the conservatives to victory once again and became prime minister. A week later, the House of Commons approved the withdrawal agreement, which made it possible for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union on 31 January 2020. A transitional period is to run until 31 December 2020.
Today the negotiations are in a crucial final phase, but a crystal ball is needed to see whether a hard or a soft Brexit will ensue. Important items on the agenda remain the possibility for EU fishermen to fish in British waters, the definition of a level playing field on licences and monopolies, and the agreements with Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Nervousness holds sway
Ivo Mertens estimates the chance of robust price movements in the near future as well. The market expects the volatility of the Pound to exceed that of the US Dollar by 30%. When market participants want to buy pounds en masse, while no one is selling, major price changes will occur due to a lack of liquidity. Market nervousness therefore remains a constant.
Hedging exchange rates
Irrespective of the agreement, Brexit will affect financial transactions with the UK. Payments to and from the British Isles will of course continue. This can also be done via a Pound account with a Belgian financial institution. However, financial institutions that do not have the necessary licences will no longer be able to offer their services in the United Kingdom and vice versa.
In the event of a hard Brexit in particular, companies may scale back trade with the United Kingdom due to excessive complexity. Ivo Mertens also expects that trading partners in the UK will be less inclined to pay in euros and therefore prefer transactions in pounds. Anyone who chooses a good partner for hedging future exchange rates will turn a disadvantage into an advantage in such a case. Brexit therefore also offers the necessary opportunities.
Integration of iBanFirst in Isabel 6
Ivo Mertens underscores the added value of iBanFirst in that scenario. A company can pay or receive money free of charge from the UK through that platform and exchange it to and from euros at competitive margins. iBanFirst also offers various instruments to hedge your transactions against future fluctuations at favourable conditions. Isabel 6 offers an integration with iBanFirst, giving users real-time access to the exchange rate when making a foreign currency payment.
Isabel 6 provides a central and clear overview of your accounts with numerous banks. Curious about how the platform responds to the international currency markets thanks to integration with iBanFirst? For more information, go to Add iBanFirst to Isabel6