Generally, banks publish a list of indicative exchange rates for information purposes. If you have EURO and exchange them into Sterling or US Dollars, and re-convert them into EURO, the value of your amount will reduce at each conversion. It is likely that the actual rate for a transaction may be different from that shown on the banks’ lists. Normally, rates are quoted against the EURO.
If you want to convert from one currency to another, your bank will use the selling or buying rate depending on the type of transaction.
Selling Rate is the rate at which the bank sells foreign currency.
Buying Rate is the rate at which the bank buys foreign currency.
Banks distinguish between rates used to exchange bank notes AND cheques or to transfer money to another account. So you may find two different Selling Rates, one to exchange bank notes and another for the encashment of foreign cheques or to send money abroad. The buying rate is always higher than the selling rate!
Daily exchange rates are displayed in branches or on the banks’ websites.
Here’s a practical example. You are travelling to London and you want to exchange €500 to GBP (UK Sterling).
This is an extract from the bank’s list of foreign currency exchange rates:
|Notes Selling||Notes Buying||Cheques Selling||Cheuqes Buying|
|US Dollar (USD)||1.1087||1.193||1.1229||1.163|
|UK Sterling (GBP)||0.8505||0.9284||0.8717||0.9072|
The table above shows that the bank’s selling rate for sterling bank notes is 0.8505. This means that you will get £0.8505 for every €1.
So, you left the bank with €500 x 0.8505 = £425.25.
Let’s assume that you had to cancel your trip. You have these options:
Keep the funds at home for another trip (at your own risk).
Convert them to EURO. Assuming that the rate quoted above has not changed (remember: rates do change), the bank will apply the UK Sterling buying rate which is £0.9284. To change Sterling back to EURO, divide £425.25 by 0.9284 = €458.05. This means that you lost €32.80 from your original sum of €500.
Deposit the amount in your UK Sterling savings account. It is likely that your bank will apply a tariff on the amount you deposit, ranging from 1 to 2 per cent. If you decide to withdraw your money from this account, it is also likely that a tariff will be applied on the amount withdrawn.
You can verify the daily exchange rates and the evolution of these rates here.
Some handy foreign currency codes
Other EU & EEA Currencies
|United Kingdom||Pound Sterling||£||GBP|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong dollar||HK$/$||HKD|
|New Zealand||New Zealand dollar||$||NZD|
|Saudi Arabia||Saudi Arabian Riyal||ر.س||SAR|
|Turkey||New Turkish Lira||TL||TRY|
|United Arab Emirates||Dirham||د.إ||AED|
|United States of America||US dollar||$||USD|