Brave new world beckons as nations shakes off Covid shadow

Brave new world beckons as nations shakes off Covid shadow

Brave new world beckons as nations shakes off Covid shadow

If, during the darkest days of 2020, you had turned to the neighbours and predicted a miraculous bounce back in the global economy this summer they may have questioned your sanity.

And yet the key indicators now point to such a phoenix-like recovery that intergovernmental economic heavyweight the OECD has scrapped what was once considered an optimistic prediction of just over 4 per cent growth across the world. Instead it believes the recovery will be closer to 6 per cent this year. The International Monetary Fund says the same.

Welcome back: currency deals worth doing

Thanks to a powerful combination of unwavering fiscal stimulus, awe-inspiring vaccine programmes and other super-human efforts by individuals, communities, businesses and governments around the world, we are spending again, travelling and moving home again, launching new businesses and re-invigorating established ones.

We are dusting off mothballed ambitions and, most importantly, we’re raising our gaze to the far horizon after staring at the same four walls for far too long.

But don’t believe for one minute that we’re picking up where we left off before Covid-19 scorched its way through all our lives. Far from it.

The pandemic has turbocharged the digital age, bringing with it unprecedented and permanent shifts in almost every aspect of life – from how and where we live and work to the way we do business. Things will never be the same again, and nor should they be.

It’s now clear that 2021 represents a remarkable turning point and a massive opportunity to embrace a global view, whether that means pressing go on a new life overseas, snapping up a second home, ramping up international business deals or launching new enterprises that make the most of a remerging, reunited global economy.

How the right currency deal can help max your big plans

The truth about currency fees

All that working, living and trading across borders means currency, and the quick, easy and secure transfer of it, is crucial.

But this can be a confusing and intimidating industry, full of mystifying acronyms, drawn out processes, hidden fees, and always that niggling concern that we’re being taken for a ride on rates.

And while we tend to retreat to familiar names when faced with uncertainty, the flight to the high street banks will often do us a disservice when it comes to currency. These generalist financial institutions typically charge far more in fees, sometimes double, to transfer money compared with specialist brokers.

Rate of exchange

Then there’s the murky world of exchange rates.

Often employed as a hidden extra charge, especially by traditional operators, sudden fluctuations in rates can and regularly do obliterate significant chunks of transferred funds long after budgets have been drawn up and calculations pored over, especially when exchanging large sums.

These days, Covid-19 adds a powerful new dimension to this fast-paced and fickle market.

Those economies reporting falling infection or death rates and positive vaccination news have consistently seen a marked uplift in the strength of their currency while runaway infections mean others stumble.

While the UK has streaked ahead with its vaccination programme in the first half of 2021, for example, the EU has been paralysed by political friction over the AstraZeneca vaccine. The subsequent delay, with its knock-on impact on leading Eurozone economies France and Germany, saw the Euro lose ground against its peers for the duration of the uncertainty.

Across the world, as we start to come out the other side of the pandemic, or at least the most dramatic phase of it, economies will require less support from central banks and governments. At that point, the more traditional gauges of economic health will rise to the surface once more.

In other words, it has never been so important to know where you stand, fixing a favourable rate when it arises even if that peace of mind comes with the chance of missing out a little if things continue to go your way.

A growing number of currency providers now lock in rates to protect both parties from the impact of sudden fluctuations.

Find out more: Make the most of your money transfer

Cheap, quick, secure: transferring money between currencies

Q: How do I make sure I don’t get ripped off?

A: Compare fees and consider a service that allows you to lock in favourable rates. Don’t default to your usual bank without being sure it’s the best choice for your wallet. A good broker will not only take you through the process step by step but will also keep you informed on market movements to help optimise your payments.

Q: Is my money safe?

Always use a service that is authorised by the financial regulator in your country of residence or origin. In the UK, that’s the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which demands high levels of security, transparency and accountability from the businesses it authorises.

Q: How long does a currency transfer take?

With the funds ready to go, a decent service is available online 24/7 and can complete your transfer the same day, with your money available to use immediately, though more complicated transfers can still take a day or two.

Get going: hassle-free transfers and rates you can rely on

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