Pound rallies as government backs down from back bench rebellion

Theresa May.

A SURPRISE amendment tabled by the government offering parliamentary scrutiny of the Brexit process has temporarily rescued the pound from its inexorable decline. 

In what has been described as “one hell of a climb down” by Labour, Theresa May bent to intensive pressure and will now allow parliament some measure of influence over the negotiations. 

Her executive had steadfastly refused calls to provide a “running commentary” on the proceedings but after a fraught parliamentary affair concenring a major treasury leak saw one Tory MP denounce the strategy as ‘tyrannical’ the amendment was tabled to prevent a serious back bench rebellion. 

Sterling has since risen back above the $1.23 mark after falling as low as $1.208 late last night leading Paul Donovan of UBS to note that “Markets are once again the idle playthings of politicians.”

Meanwhile the government is also under fire over plans to create a brexit select committee of 21 MPs, almost twice the size of any other parliamentary committee. 

Whitehall thinktank the Institute for Government argues that the move could be a “recipe for the lowest common denominator” by creating a committee so large it will fail to agree on anything and provide ineffective scrutiny of executive plans.

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    • kay peukert

      12 October 2016 • 13:40

      Where do you get your figures from??? they are crap.
      yesterday at 13.20 I went to the local bank- first I was told had to pay ATM fee of 1.80eur – had to as had no money then as the screen was in the sun I could not read it all but I ended up GBP 1.00 = 1.046185 comm
      3,5% = 192.89GBP for 200€
      The way it is going we will be looking at 100€ costing 120gbp
      I cannot afford to live like this

    • Mike in ESP

      12 October 2016 • 21:40

      The commission the bank charges is nothing to do with the government Kay, take that up with your bank or card issuer.

      What are you withdrawing foreign currency from an ATM for anyway, you must have money to burn if this is how you get your money from abroad to Spain! There are online services such as Moneycorp or Currency Fair that will give you a much better rate than a bank, you might need to exchange a little more than £200 at a time although they tend to advertise for people sending pensions on a monthly basis. Personally I find the latter to give a slightly better rate although the difference between the two doesn’t amount to much unless you are trading over 2000€

    • john

      12 October 2016 • 22:33

      Change the bank you use, Kay … really!

    • Brian Eagleson

      13 October 2016 • 09:01

      Sadly, Kay, Tuesday’s Pound/Euro rate was 25% less than it was last year. It has reached its lowest value in history as measured against the standard basket of world currencies.  On Wednesday it recovered by a mere 0.01 of a Euro – but I’m sorry to say that won’t last. I’ll tell you why.

      The main reason is the reaction of international currency traders to the growing weakness of the British economy. There is a huge gap between the money that comes in to the UK in trade etc. compared with the money that is leaving. Put simply, the UK is living beyond its means and building a mountain of debt like a poor householder. So currency traders are selling their Sterling and buying other currencies belonging to stronger countries like the USA and even buying Euros because the Eurozone economy is performing strongly at present.

      A UK government forecast about Britain’s economy post-Brexit was leaked to the press on Tuesday and it was bad. Very bad. So the currency traders sold even more Sterling and will continue to do so until the UK’s situation improves.

      That’s why you’ve lost a quarter of your income since last year along with all us other expats who get our income from the UK. It’s not going to get better until the UK balance of payments improves. Post- Brexit it’s forecast to get worse. Sorry, but there it is.

    • Roy Peters

      13 October 2016 • 12:42

      Kay, you should change to the Deutsche bank for I have never had to pay a levy when withdrawing money from their ATM’s.

    • Brian Eagleson

      14 October 2016 • 12:37

      If it’s any help Kay, Banco Santander offers an account with no bank charges whatsoever – a rarity in Spain. I have one and I’ve never paid a bank charge for anything, direct debits, utility bills, road tax, money transfers – anything. As always though, there’s a catch.

      In order to get it you have to get your pension(s) paid directly into the account by your UK pension providers, converted to Euros of course, and the deposits have to be above a certain amount every year. The bank staff help you organise all that. There’s usually at least one who speaks English if your Spanish is not great. There’s no charge for withdrawing cash from an ATM either except those rip-off ones where there’s no actual bank branch. I never use them.

      I agree with the others. You should definitely change your bank. There’s bound to be several that are better than your current one. Try shopping around for what suits YOU best.

    • kay peukert

      14 October 2016 • 13:21

      Thanks to all for your comments
      When we first came to spain in 1987 we had a bank account and brought our money into it by cheque – we got a good deal but bank staff left and the new manager did not put our cheque into the account and we did not find out for two weeks 2nd bank paid anybody with out a standing order. 3rd was great untill new manager. My cheques never bounced but they said I had to wait 28days for cheques to clear.
      I was told by my uk bank to use deutche but I was paying too much in charges so went to the local bank which would bill in sterling so saving me 8gbp
      With my pension the way it is – just after my husband
      died UK paid me 52gbp per week so you can guess what I have now.
      Thanks for comments but I amin a catch 22 situation

    • Brian Eagleson

      14 October 2016 • 18:57

      Oh Kay, I’m so sorry to hear all that. I’m afraid the bank I recommended is probably a non-starter for your needs. I hardly know what to recommend now.

      Sadly, most banks are generally only interested in making profits. No surprises there then, eh? Many of them gamble with our money in the hope of maximising those profits and come unstuck. Maybe one of the smaller but popular Spanish banks with lots of Spanish customers might be more appropriate for your needs. They might have accounts that are more tailored to someone with a limited income. Just check online though to see if they’ve passed the recent stress tests to make sure they’re healthy and won’t come unstuck! In fact it is in all our interests to check how healthy or otherwise our banks are. That’s what I’ve been recommending to other people in similar situations to yours. All the info you need is only a few Google-clicks away.

      I do hope you find one that can help you save money in these trying times.

    • Mike in ESP

      15 October 2016 • 12:04

      Look at Currency fair Kay, it doesn’t cost anything to open an account and you can set up an exchange from your UK bank that will be paid right into your Spanish bank, there should be no bank commission to pay and you can see the exact exchange rate at that time and as it fluctuates, then if you think the rate is OK you select to do the transaction. You will be sent a bank account to make the transfer from your UK bank account to in Sterling and it will arrive about 2 days later at the amount you where given when you selected to make the transaction. It doesn’t cost you anything to check the difference in rate from them and your bank… and you will find you will be quids in over any other way of making the exchange 🙂

    • Brian Eagleson

      16 October 2016 • 11:38

      Be careful re Currencyfair.com Kay. There are hidden fees to transfer your money from your Currencyfair ‘wallet’ to your bank account. There is also an upfront fee of three Euros for each transaction. Ok, that’s not much, but you need to know. You might be able to find a promo code that removes the up front fee though, but not the hidden ones. Some users say it ended up no cheaper than other alternatives, despite its claims.

      There is also some criticism of its business plan as to whether or not it is viable in the longer term. It’s only been around for 6 years and already It has dropped some countries from its services without notice. Currently it services only EU countries and Australia. When the UK leaves the EU that may change. Maybe not, but it’s worth being prepared just in case. Also, some users say setting up your account is difficult and “not intuitive”.

      I’ve done some sums, and I can’t get a better deal than my current one where my pensions get paid directly into my Spanish bank account every month using an easy, cheap and reliable system that’s been around for a long time. I’m not saying don’t consider Currencyfair. I’m just saying if you do, make sure you’re confident it’s safe, reliable and the reality matches up with the advertising hyperbole.


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