Gaining greater certainty over foreign exchange risks when exporting

Like many other British exporters, Welsh-owned glass recycler GlassTech Recycling has actually benefited from the recent lower value of Sterling.  

But the downward currency market movement following last year’s Brexit vote was a sharp reminder to GlassTech’s Managing Director Karen John of the potentially negative impact of other unexpected currency fluctuations. In addition, more recent political events, such as the triggering of Article 50 and announcement of a snap general election, have amplified the ambiguity surrounding what Brexit will mean for British businesses – especially those that export to EU countries.

Realising that she needed support when it came to finer points of global financial markets, Karen sought expert help…

 

A flawed first port of call

Karen knew there was no way she was willing to gamble the future of GlassTech on an uncertain foreign exchange market. So she initially looked to her company’s bank for support – but was left unimpressed.

“People just assume their bank will offer them the best rate,” she says, but she soon realised that’s not necessarily the case, and that “the bank was not as forthcoming as it might have been!”

 

Expertise makes the difference

Karen approached Godi (then trading as OSTCFX) for a ‘second opinion’ and was delighted to find we could offer much better rates – on top of expert guidance tailored to GlassTech’s export needs.

Karen appreciates that it is Godi’s expertise in foreign exchange that makes us different. Our friendly team take the time to explain how foreign exchange works and to help her understand which products and strategies are available, and the most appropriate and beneficial options for her business.

 

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Building trust as well as profit

Unlike a bank, which deals with one transaction at a time, Godi considers clients’ long-term interests. For example, Karen will occasionally get a call from Brett, her account manager at Godi, to provide her with an update on what’s happening in the currency markets – so she can think strategically and align her plans accordingly. Indeed, Karen says that the fact that she can get hold of Brett easily is another clear advantage Godi has over the company’s bank. She describes our customer service as second to none.

Now, when Karen is exporting her product, she knows she can call Brett for advice about how to ‘lock in’ the cost of shipping in the most cost-effective way, and then proceed with complete peace of mind. It’s a relationship that works brilliantly – and profitably, because our expertise makes us competitive when it comes to the bottom line.

 

An educational experience

In addition to benefiting GlassTech’s business operations, working with Godi has been an educational experience for Karen.

This primarily results from our ‘knowledge-first’ and people-focused approach. We are always keen to share our expertise in an easy-to-understand way, to help business owners recognise the potential impact of currency fluctuations on their fx international payments. This greater clarity and the certainty that comes with fixing FX costs ultimately helps SME directors like Karen to make better business decisions.

Looking back, Karen says: “I know all there is to know about glass. But foreign exchange is a different matter. It’s completely alien to me. I would never take on the FX market – ever. I dread to think what decisions I would have made without Godi’s support!” 

 

How have we helped?

So, what’s the expert’s view? Brett Thomas, Karen’s account manager at Godi, explains: “Like all exporters, GlassTech faces a degree of foreign exchange exposure in the window between taking an order from abroad, manufacturing the goods and actually shipping them. That’s why a robust foreign exchange strategy is advisable to hedge against the risk of fluctuation.

“For example, we advised Karen to use a time-option forward, which secures the current exchange rate for a future date, but with the flexibility to draw down any value up to the settlement date. That gave her the ability to budget with certainty.”

 

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What next?

Ask one of our friendly experts to help you review your foreign exchange risk – call 0203 326 9082 or email info@godi.io.

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