A practical currency and money guide to travel, living and doing business in the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the Pound Sterling (GBP).
What's in this South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands currency guide:
The official currency of the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (country code: GS) is the Pound Sterling, with symbol £ and currency code GBP.
The British pound Sterling is the official currency of the United Kingdom. It is represented by the symbol "£" and is abbreviated as GBP (Great Britain Pound).
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 (at the time of the euro's introduction in 1999), Britain could have adopted the euro as its currency, 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 2022, when GBP/USD reached 1.11.
The British are more focussed on their currency exchange rate than are the citizens of most other countries, along with perhaps the Australians and Canadians. This is may be due to the open and trading nature of the UK economy and also due to their love of travel to the nearby 'continent' and further afield.
The physical currency consists of coins and banknotes. The coins come in denominations of 1 pence (p), 2 pence (p), 5 pence (p), 10 pence (p), 20 pence (p), 50 pence (p), and £1 and £2.
The banknotes come in denominations of £5, £10, £20, and £50. The banknotes feature images of famous British historical figures, such as Queen Elizabeth II, William Shakespeare, and Jane Austen. The design of the currency is constantly being updated, so the physical appearance of the coins and banknotes may vary slightly over time.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are a British Overseas Territory located in the South Atlantic Ocean. The islands are uninhabited, except for a small number of scientists and support staff who are based there during the summer months. The main economic activities on the islands are fishing, tourism, and the sale of stamps and coins.
South Georgia is known for its rugged and remote landscapes, including mountains and glaciers, as well as its rich wildlife, including penguins, seals, and whales. It's a popular destination for cruise ships and adventure tourists, who come to see the wildlife, and to visit historical sites, such as the grave of the explorer Ernest Shackleton.
The South Sandwich Islands, on the other hand, are volcanic islands that are less accessible and less visited. They are uninhabited and have a harsh climate, with strong winds, heavy rain, and frequent volcanic eruptions.
Both islands have a unique flora and fauna, and are important for scientific research in fields such as biology, geology, and meteorology. They are also home to several protected areas, including South Georgia Island Marine Protected Area and South Georgia Heritage Trust.
It's worth noting that traveling to South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands can be difficult and expensive, as the islands are remote and only accessible by ship. Visitors must have a valid permit and must also hire a licensed guide, as the islands are protected areas.
Overall, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are a remote and unique destination, known for its rugged and remote landscapes, rich wildlife, and scientific importance. Visitors must be prepared for the harsh conditions and the high costs associated with traveling to these islands.
Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands:
Understand Pound Sterling currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the GBP exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.
Use a local Pound Sterling bank account: A local GBP bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. It may also be more convenient to use a local GBP bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.
Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.
Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.
Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.
The exchange rate of Pound Sterling (GBP), or the amount of GBP that can be exchanged for a foreign currency, can fluctuate rapidly based on a number of factors, including economic conditions, interest rates, and political events. Below you can check the latest GBP/USD rate plus recent trend, chart, forecasts and historic rates.
12 May 2023
|0.9% ▼||2 Week|
25 Feb 2023
|3.3% ▲||3 Month|
26 May 2022
|2.1% ▼||1 Year|
27 May 2018
|7.2% ▼||5 Year|
28 May 2013
|18% ▼||10 Year|
31 May 2003
|24.8% ▼||20 Year|
The pound experienced a strong start in May, reaching an 11-month high against the US dollar, as it benefited from ongoing inflationary pressures in the UK and Trussonomics' effects. GBP/USD traded mostly within a tighter range of US$1.2350 to US$1.2530 throughout April, before pushing above the US$1.2600 level on the 4th of May. The Bank of England's contractionary monetary policy stance in response to inflation figures at 10.1% and continued challenges such as a labor shortage and food price increases are expected to influence the exchange rate further. However, the market mood remains volatile, and upcoming UK PMIs may trigger fluctuations in the pound's value.
On the other hand, the US dollar has firmed up recently as a result of souring sentiment amid increasing economic tensions between the US and China. The greenback also benefited from the Fed's interest rate hikes and the belief that they will reverse in 2023. The GBP/USD exchange rate has been relatively stable, trading within a 6.9% range from 1.1826 to 1.2639 in the previous three months. FX analysts will closely monitor the upcoming S&P Global PMIs for insight into the US economy, which could affect the dollar's trajectory against the pound. Ultimately, the exchange rate remains highly sensitive to economic data releases, political events, and evolving central bank policies.
GBP/USD forecasts GBP/USD rates
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make an International Money Transfer to the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands or planning a trip or maybe living there, so will need to exchange and spend Pound Sterling.
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It is important to note that the exchange rate of the Pound Sterling can change rapidly and that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance. It is advisable to carefully consider the risks and factors that may affect GBP exchange rates before making any financial decisions.