Foreign Exchange Guide to Guernsey
British pound sterling
In this guide we review :
- British pound sterling info - general info about the British pound sterling
- British pound sterling in the markets - recent GBP moves and predictions from the FX markets
- Travelling in Guernsey - currency & money saving tips
- Buying British pound sterling cash online - travel money for Guernsey
- Sending money to Guernsey - save on British pound sterling bank transfers to Guernsey
- British pound sterling exchange rates - latest info & charts.
British pound sterling (GBP) general currency information
The three letter currency code for the British pound sterling is GBP and the symbol is £. It is the domestic currency in United Kingdom, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey and South Georgia And South Sandwich Islands.
The British pound (ISO: GBP) is one base unit of sterling – that being the name of Britain's currency – and is subdivided into 100 pence.
Contributing to around 13% of all foreign exchange deals, the pound, or sterling, is the world’s fourth most traded currency.
Reputedly, sterling is 1200 years old. It is said that Anglo-Saxon traders used silver pennies in the eighth century called ‘sterlings’, 240 of which would equal one pound in weight.
Due to its membership of the European Union, Britain could have adopted the euro as its currency upon its introduction in 1999, however the British government opted against this because it wanted to retain monetary policy independence and because it perceived euro adoption as offering only small economic benefits.
In recent years, the most significant event to affect sterling’s valuation was the UK’s vote to leave the European Union on June 24th 2016 – a day on which the exchange rate for GBP/USD fell by as much as 11%.
In the past two decades, the pound’s highest valuation against the dollar occurred in November 2007 when GBP/USD reached 2.1161. Its lowest value came in October 2016, three-and-a-half months after the historic ‘Brexit’ vote, when GBP/USD reached 1.1905.
British pound sterling (GBP) in the markets
2018 started well for the British pound. The currency climbed in mid-January to a 19-month high against the dollar of $1.374 after news broke that the Netherlands and Spain had agreed to seek a Brexit deal that would keep Britain as close to the EU as possible – indicative of a softer Brexit. Sterling was stable against the euro, buying roughly €1.125.
In 2017, sterling had risen steadily against the dollar, from levels in the $1.19s in January to $1.35 by the end of December. However, like all other G10 currencies, it lost value against the euro (roughly 4%).
In 2018, sterling is set to climb to $1.50 against USD according to forecasters at Dutch bank ING. The British currency will be assisted by broad US dollar weakness, a “positive re-appraisal of the UK economic outlook” and a “hawkish re-pricing of Bank of England policy expectations” that will follow a UK-EU trade deal.
Against the euro, sterling will likely suffer in 2018. Analysts at UBS predict GBP/EUR to fall to 1.05 by year-end, from December '17 rates near 1.126.
Guernsey currency and money saving tips
Like the rest of the Channel Islands, it is not part of the UK, but nonetheless it feels resolutely British. Yet due to its proximity to France and its quirky laws and customs it has a very unique feel to it.
UK currency can be used in Guernsey, but Guernsey's own notes and coins are not accepted outside of Guernsey so make sure you change your currency before leaving. Each ATM will state whether it dispenses British or Guernsey pounds, so if you pay attention you can avoid picking up much local currency if you want to avoid that There are plentiful ATM machines in St Peter Port and at banks in outlying parishes. No VAT is charged on Guernsey.The bus network covers all the island's parishes and major attractions. A Guernsey sightseeing route, The Guernsey Vaeux (numbers 91, 92, 93), goes all the way around the island, allowing visitors to get off at various attractions. The flat fare is £2 for all journeys of any distance on all routes; children three and under go free, older children pay the flat rate. There is also a range of travel passes: from £4.50 for a one-day pass, to £38 for a seven-day family pass, good for two adults and up to three children.
Guernsey Trip Checklist
Travel money for Guernsey
Save money and time by Ordering your British pound sterling online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the GBP cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in British pound sterling otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Sending money to Guernsey
When sending money to Guernsey it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 3 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or British pound sterling amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted GBP amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Guernsey.
By comparing the rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more British pound sterling deposited into the recipient bank account in Guernsey and less margins and fees kept by the banks!