Monday 18th March 2013
Chris Towner, director of FX advisory services at foreign currency specialists HiFX comments on the Cyprus bailout decision:
“Whatever the details of this tax levy on cash deposits, what has been announced over the weekend from Cyprus is shocking. No wonder the Germans including Finance Minister Shaeuble have been quick to point out that they had nothing to do with this decision.
“It sets a worrying precedent for any country that is in any way unstable and has a deposit protection scheme. Your money is safe until the very people who have allowed your money to be safe, take that safety net away. Cyprus has a deposit protection scheme that guarantees the safety of your cash in the bank up to 100k Euros. For the Government then to supersede this safety net by dipping freely into people’s hard-earned savings is verging on criminal.
“No wonder we have seen the Euro drop in value. Cyprus makes up a tiny percentage of the EU’s GDP; however this is a worrying precedent that is sending shockwaves through the whole global financial markets. The fears of the sovereign debt crisis have re-surfaced to shake the calm that we have seen so far this year.
“Here at HiFX we have already seen enquiries from Cyprus of people looking to sell Euros; however there are restrictions currently in place in Cyprus to prevent people from doing this. However, we have already had enquiries from Spain and other countries of people concerned that this type of levy too may impact them.
HiFX is the UK’s premier provider of foreign exchange and cash deposit services. Established in 1998, HiFX launched the first online international money transfer service with live exchange rates and no hidden fees. Working with over 40,000 private individuals each year and approximately 2500 corporate clients worldwide managing their foreign exchange and currency needs, HiFX offers both companies and private individuals significantly better exchange rates and exceptional service.
The breadth of activity HiFX helps its clients with is far reaching. For private individuals activity typically includes overseas property acquisition, migration overseas, salary transfers, international pension transfers and high value asset purchase. For corporate clients it is an effective way to pay overseas suppliers and staff, receive international payments, settle invoices and conduct business abroad. Last year HiFX advised on and executed over £9 billion in foreign exchange and has in excess of £2 billion placed on the Money Markets on behalf of our commercial customers.
HiFX systems work to 99.999% uptime standards, and just like the worlds banks are independently tested. HiFX also uses independently verified online security with the highest level of VeriSign certification. HiFX is the service provider for the Post Office’s ‘International Payments Service’. If you send money overseas through the Post Office, you will be talking to HiFX.
HiFX standing in the market is highlighted by the number of visitors to its website. In 2010, it had 4.2 million visitors and 1.3 million unique users to its website.