BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Page last updated at 16:57 GMT, Thursday, 17 April 2008 17:57 UK

Have Your Say: currency

The Euro sculpture in front of the European Central Bank building in Frankfurt
The European Central Bank's decision to hold rates will buoy the euro

The value of the pound against the euro has fallen to its lowest level since the single currency was introduced in 1999.

Holidaymakers planning trips in Europe this summer will need to calculate carefully how much more things will cost while abroad if the exchange rates do not change again for the better.

Meanwhile, UK people buying or selling property in Europe also need to take stock of the situation.

Tell us your views on currency exchange rates.

Are you changing holiday or purchase plans because of rate changes?

Perhaps you are a UK citizen living abroad - or have business dealings overseas - have you been affected?

Are you benefiting or feel likely to benefit from currency moves?

We asked for your comments, a selection of which are below.

The debate is now closed

My partner and I were considering joining the quarter of a million natives who annually abandon the sinking ship that is the UK. The strong devaluation of sterling against the euro has eroded our ability to get out comfortably and if it reaches parity we may be doomed to stay here.
John, London

Not having the euro here absolutely plays havoc with trying to keep your finances going

I lived in Germany for 10 years and came over here for a German company to work on a multimillion pound project. Not having the euro here absolutely plays havoc with trying to keep your finances going - I need a euro account to deal with some German affairs as well as a UK bank account. Whilst transferring money within the eurozone is fast and free (mainly due to laws that came in from the European authorities) it is a nightmare trying to do it from here. What is more the UK banks are SO quick to rip you off when you use a Visa card abroad, just check out how they try to stealthily give you a bad exchange rate! Interestingly enough, the project I worked on had to be hedged against the currency which cost 10% of the cost of the whole project. And STILL I hear people wanting to stay with the pound! Unbelievable. It's a headache! Join the euro and stop faffing around.

My business manufactures car accessories in Poland for sale in the UK. Over the last 18 the pound has deteriorated by 30%, over the last 6 months by 20% and this has had a massive impact on our profit and loss. We now have no alternative but to put up prices by a lot! Thereby reducing sales and contributing to inflation in the economy - but the choice is stark - do that or go broke.

I disagree with John Smith. I don't know any place other than the UK that has such a volatile housing market. It hardly matters where the interest rates are if you can buy houses at a fraction of the cost and use banking products that I find far superior to the ones here in the EU (10 fixed rates for example have long been standard). I agree with the person who said that the economy has been held afloat on a borrowing binge, and at all levels: personal, corporate and governmental. The UK is heading for some tougher times. Also, the TRUE inflation rate in the UK is masked by stealth: Labour changed the way it is calculated leaving housing costs and the costs of borrowing, as one example of many, which no longer are in the official figures. A shambles!

I am seeing my income increase every day
M. El-Hassan, Holland

I am one of the winners - till now. I started a contract last November in Holland and my daily rate was negotiated in pounds when the pound was strong. The rate was converted to euros at 1.4343. I wasn't happy at the time with the rate. Now I am seeing my income increase every day and I can't complain. The question is when should I transfer my euro savings to pounds? I don't think any one has got the answer to this question.
M. El-Hassan, Holland

We reside in Italy and find it incredible that the euro is a more desirable currency than sterling. Interest rates on savings here are minimal, the country is virtually bankrupt, inflation is high and average salaries now lower than those of the Greeks. We made the decision to keep the majority of our assets in the UK and it seems now that this was not the best idea.
Johanne Jacks, Piegaro, Italy

The fall in the pound does not just affect holidaymakers and foreign residents, but everybody
Henry Law, Brighton

My experience from travel in Sweden is that the pound was overvalued - typically 1SEK would purchase about 12p of stuff, but cost less than 8p. The longer you stayed, the more you saved. Such an exchange rate would make life difficult for UK exporters. However, the fall in the pound does not just affect holidaymakers and foreign residents, but everybody, as it affects the price of all imports from the eurozone, including basics like fruit and veg from France and Spain, and it will lead to a generalised round of price rises in the shops. And matters are worse than that because the eurozone itself is suffering from inflation.
Henry Law, Brighton

I have just banked a cheque for 222 euros that was sent to me from France due to cancelled ski lessons. This was presented at my HSBC bank and I have received a letter saying they will credit my account with 174.34 and also debit my account 10 handling charge. So it is costing me money to receive a refund. Why could my credit card not be re-credited as that was the method used to pay? And why do English banks not have a system in place to deal with euro cheques without all these extra charges?
Deborah Wright-Morris, Truro, Cornwall

My ex-wife is French and lives there with our children. I have to send money for my children until they leave full time education as decided by the French divorce courts. It is now getting extremely expensive for me to do so - the rate has gone from almost 1.50 to 1.24 to the GBP.
David, Norwich

Please don't say we shall be less British or whatever
Keith, Hastings

Blair made a huge mistake in not taking us into the euro in his first term. It has become a stable strong currency - something those with memories and an absence of misplaced jingoism cannot say about the pound which oscillates around and is vulnerable to speculation. If we don't join we shall never have a proper say in the development of a truly commercial Europe, which is the final phase of development of this stable benign trading bloc - and please don't say we shall be less British or whatever, I've yet to meet a Frenchman who thinks he's less French because of the eurozone.
Keith, Hastings

The UK's choice to opt out of the euro has always been due to politics rather than economic factors. As a UK based engineer who works globally, I have many co-workers who have quit the UK for income tax reasons rather than currency issues. I disagree with John from London who wants to "abandon the sinking ship that is the UK", he will find that the grass is not as green elsewhere.
Steven, Edinburgh

The sensible thing would be to join to the euro
Ben, King's Lynn, Norfolk

The euro has risen 20% against the pound in 8 months (from 67p to 80p) - I am seriously considering converting some money into euros because that is much better interest than a bank offers. At this rate, in two years the currencies will be equal. The sensible thing would be to join to the euro, but I fear that the current political climate makes even discussing the issue impossible.
Ben, King's Lynn, Norfolk

The real disaster will happen when the pound falls against the dollar. Expect to pay 2 per litre for fuel by Christmas. That will cause a deep recession.
Mike, Oxford

The British were the 19th Century global power, the Americans were the 20th Century global power, China/Asia will take that mantle for this 21st Century. Is it therefore not time for the UK to join the euro currency to protect our future generations in the global "economic super cycle" that has now started?
Bruce, Kilgetty

We have yet again become the poor man of Europe
Sam, Cardiff

The truth is the last ten years have been a con - an economy built on a borrowing binge. It is now payback time and I can see the mighty euro reaching parity with the weak pound. We have yet again become the poor man of Europe. C'est la vie.
Sam, Cardiff

Those who think this is a bad thing don't understand economics. It may be bad for tourists abroad, but overall the fact that our currency can float against the euro benefits us in this scenario by allowing our economy to adjust and find its level. The euro is not an optimal currency area. If we had joined it we would have lost control of important economic functions. If you think the housing situation is bad, take a look at where EU interest rates have been over the past few years and imagine what it would have been like with them. This is why even the IMF's gloomy predictions still have the UK economy doing better than Europe in the coming economic downturn.
John Smith, Surrey

I can't wait for the euro to be the same value as the pound
Mark Jackson, Oulu, Finland

I moved from the UK to work in Finland last July. I still have a loan to pay off and my wedding in the UK in the autumn and I think it's excellent news that the pound is becoming weaker. It means my wedding will cost less and that I won't have to send as much across to pay the loan. I can't wait for the euro to be the same value as the pound. Hopefully it will be sometime this year.
Mark Jackson, Oulu, Finland

If it means the often right-wing moaners stay at home, it can only be good. I don't want them coming to my neck of the woods. I came for positive reasons, not "abandoning ship" and accepting that it wouldn't always be "comfortable".
Sue, somewhere in Europe

It's interesting watching everything unfold as I expected it to. If the pound continues this way it could mean the death of it in the near future.
Scott, St Helens

I'm with you John except I have already made up my mind. I'm moving to mainland Europe ASAP.
Scott, St Helens

Why didn't we join the euro when we had the chance? Travel and commerce would have been made immeasurably easier, and we would have seen the back of the periodic "sterling crises" that have dogged the country several times during my lifetime. Similarly, our balance of payments problem would have been a thing of the past. I cannot help thinking that by the end of the Summer, with tourists having come back from holidays, having realised just how poor they have become, support for our entry into the euro may rise somewhat. Could be an interesting poll to conduct in September.
Andrew, Nottingham

I'm 17 years of age and I can't believe what I'm hearing from these so called "adults" having their say. I mean - even thinking of changing to the euro is ridiculous. The euro was introduced by the EU, which for some reason the UK is involved in still - even after all the things that were promised to the UK if they joined have been thrown out the window. We are not benefitting at all from being in this group as we are paying 14billion into it each year and getting less than 4billion back. It is our lives these MPs are messing with in the EU and our generation's money which is going to be most affected.
Dean Ward, North-West England

The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. It is helpful if contributors state if they work for any organisation relevant to an issue discussed. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.

Money Box



Download or subscribe to this programme's podcast

Podcast Help

Strong euro behind cocaine flows
11 Apr 08 |  Business
Pound fall against euro continues
10 Apr 08 |  Business
ECB leaves rates unchanged at 4%
10 Apr 08 |  Business
Q&A: The strong euro
10 Apr 08 |  Business
External internet links
11 Apr 08 |  Moneybox


Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

banner watch listen bbc sport Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific