Shocking amount of overseas money being converted back into sterling

Published:  5 Mar at 6 PM
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As reported by The Telegraph, the UK’s foreign-currency brokers have reported a shocking amount of funds being converted back into the British pound from overseas. Meanwhile, overseas property firms have seen British buyers avoiding the normally popular Mediterranean nations of Spain, Portugal, Italy and France.

Reasons vary depending on which nation the funds come from. In the EU, fear is driving Britons to worry about the euro’s safety, the property market and the might of local banks; further off in Australia, buyers are cashing in on the high Australian dollar.

In the meantime, many pensioners who chose a life in the Mediterranean sun have watched their purchasing power with their UK pensions plunge. The weakened pound and the higher cost of living in their new homes have made it too difficult for many expats to afford to stay.

In the past year, currency broker HiFX has watched the rate of euros being converted back into sterling soar by 155%, despite the euro’s recent weakening. This is no new phenomenon, as there has been a 25% increase in the past three years in funds being returned to Britain, explains Smart Currency Exchange.

The money returning to the United Kingdom from the EU during 2011’s last three months soared 41%, says World First, compared to 2010’s figures. Almost double the number of Australian dollars were changed into pounds during the same period, as expats cashed in on the strongest exchange rates in almost 27 years.
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