Pound value latest: ‘Flash crash’ takes sterling below one euro at airport currency exchanges

The crash has accentuated the fall in the value of the sterling since the EU referendum

Simon Calder
Travel correspondent, Gatwick Airport
Friday 07 October 2016 10:28 BST
Simon Calder explains what the pound 'flash crash' means for your travels

Holidaymakers heading to Europe, and families changing money ahead of the half-term holiday, are discovering that £1 does not even buy €1 at some airport bureaux de change.

The overnight “flash crash” of the pound on the foreign-exchange markets is thought to have been triggered by harsh comments by the French president on a post-Brexit deal. The effects of Francois Hollande’s demand for the UK to pay a “heavy price” appear to have been magnified by automated currency dealing.

The crash accentuated the fall in the value of sterling since the EU referendum – and led to airport bureaux de change dramatically cutting their rates.

How the pound has struggled since Brexit

At Gatwick, ICE was selling €95 for £100.17, making each pound worth just under 95c.

The travel-money dealers FairFX surveyed other airports and found that Moneycorp at Southend airport was offering 97c for each £1. At Birmingham, Edinburgh, Heathrow, London City and Luton, rates ranged from €1 to €1.01.

Ted Wake, director of sales for Kirker Holidays, said: “As ever, if you book through a tour operator the price is guaranteed.”

He said that the fall in sterling had not affected demand for special occasions: “The what-the-hell approach to life applies. Life is still far too short not to book a short break when the opportunity arises.”

Mr Wake added that bookings after the referendum are 10 per cent higher: “We are keeping a close eye on this – and have noticed that our UK holidays are 15 per cent up.”

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