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How Do I Transfer my Business Funds Overseas?

An insight into the benefits of using a forward exchange provider for your corporate fx requirements.

               One of the big issues when it comes to transferring your businesses funds overseas is that in the process of moving the funds, they’re completely exposed to exchange rate fluctuations. While that doesn’t sound exactly catastrophic, if you’re shifting in the tens of thousands, it can cost you a lot of money. It can be a very quick and insidious way to lose a substantial amount of real, liquid cash, to no real benefit.

What’s the solution then? Well, that’d be a forward exchange contract. Forward exchange contracts allow you to secure a current exchange rate for a set length of time, allowing you to move the funds overseas, when you need them there. This can save you a lot of money, but it’s not without its problems.

With so many different forward exchange providers out there, it can be hard to find the ideal choice for your business, and get the best deal. While it can secure the future value of your money against currency fluctuations, it also blocks potentially profitable currency changes, and the deposit required still locks in some of your funds. But overall, if you’re not looking to profit from the currency shifts, a forward exchange contract can save you a lot of money when faced with the variating currencies.


The Problem with Transferring Funds Overseas

               Over the last few years, especially with the tumult of Brexit, we’ve seen the sudden crash and steady recovery of the pound. The weakness of the pound has meant there’s profit to be made for overseas investors and businesses, but for those here in the UK, this shift will have almost definitely cost them some money.

If your business had planned on shifting funds overseas prior to Brexit, and you weren’t precautious enough, chances are you were blindsided by the crashing pound, costing you a chunk of your funding. What you really needed was a forward exchange contract.


The Solution

If, as a business, you intend on sending larger sums of cash overseas in the future, you can’t be flippant about it. You need to plan for currency fluctuations, which obviously you can’t 100% predict. If you’re sending above £50,000 overseas, likely, unpredictable and moderate currency fluctuations can quite easily cost you upwards of £1,000, and for no good reason. That’s why you need to utilise forward exchange contracts.

Forward exchange contracts allow you to lock in today’s exchange rate, for future use. You find a forward exchange provider, agree set terms and length, put down a small deposit, and then your funds set for overseas are safe at that exchange rate until the contract matures. This gives you complete peace of mind, and means that no matter what happens globally, your money is worth the same in whatever your selected currencies.

One of the great benefits to a forward exchange contract is that they’re very simple, cheap and straightforward to set up, and you can have your money secured and sorted within a couple of weeks. This allows you to get on with running the rest of your business,

It’s always going to be a key tenet of business, regardless of industry, country, whatever, that you need to minimise risk. The risk inherent to moving funds overseas in the long term is absolutely unacceptable, due to the potential massive percentile losses for no good reason beyond a lack of good forward planning. Getting the right forward exchange contract allows you to minimise that risk, and others.


What’s the Catch?

               Obviously, there’s never going to be a completely easy, no strings attached solution for any problem that involves shifting large sums of money around the planet. Forward exchange contracts are incredibly useful, but they do have some problems. For instance, once you’ve set up your forward exchange contract, your funds are merely protected at the currency levels you set them up at. That means that should currency fluctuate wildly in your favour, you’ll be missing out on a potential payday.

The other main issue is that while forward exchange contracts are relatively cheap and easy to set up and maintain, they do require a deposit, which means that some of your funds does end up tied up from day one, which could be less than ideal.

We’d like to thank Godi for this insight. 


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