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As a business we buy a lot from abroad; how can a broker help?

You are a company incorporated and predominantly working in the UK. All but a few of your more niche suppliers are located overseas in countries ranging from China and the Middle East to Continental Europe and Ireland. What you buy tends to be priced in either US Dollar or Euro. The question is, what difference can a specialist foreign exchange company make to the way you make payments and the rates of exchange at which you have to calculate your GBP outgoings?

Many people associate being an 'importer' with buying in bulk abroad and selling to retail customers in the UK. The truth is though, any business buying anything from abroad is importing it. They may use that item as a component part of something they manufacture, like a ball bearing, but, as a business they have access to the vast array of specialist tools and techniques that more cliched import enterprises make use of. Sectors which are commonly overlooked in terms of their import activity are:

- Construction & property development

- Cabling, Lighting & Glazing

- Interior Design

- Cycling & vehicle maintenance

- Electronic components & robotics

- Healthcare

A specialist FX (foreign exchange) business, by definition, buys more currency than the clients they sell it on to. Also, they mark up that currency by much less than the conventional suppliers to the commercial market - banks. Therefore, by buying your euros or dollars from a currency company (a foreign currency wholesaler if you prefer) you are paying fewer pounds for precisely the same product.

Broadly speaking, you could expect to spend as much as 5% less on you international payments by using a broker. That is the top end (if you're simply using your bank to do such payments at the moment) and it must be acknowledged that the improvement tends to be around the 1.5% mark.

Where the real value is added is in the strategy applied to assessing your exposure to movements in FX rates and the measures take to limit the effects of those movements. Simply, such guidance is not available through an app or in branch at your bank. Buying currency at the right time and extending the use of a favourable rate can save you thousands across you business and not just on the FX side of your dealings.


Whilst we do not actively court corporate business, PRIME CAP's particular set of skills can be applied just as beneficial to the dealings of a business as they can an individual. We present ourselves as private client brokers precisely because doing so means we do not need to precisely delineate between the sectors those individuals might personally operate in. Were we to begin listing the businesses we work with we might find a prospective client inferring that, because we have not listed their sector, we cannot assist them. Every business needs a private client; not every private client is involved with a business.

So, business operations and our approach to the FX dealings of businesses revolve around

rules. Principles. Guidelines that can be put down by one person and easily picked up and replicated by another. This characterises the beginnings of our approach to corporate FX structuring. Again, we appreciate that many businesses with either consider themselves too small or their FX dealings one-dimensional to such an extent that the way we refer to their uses for us can seem unrecognisable. At the end of the day we have developed a suite of tools and wrappers for FX treatments that work just as well with sole traders as they do with global businesses.

If you would like to learn more about our in house strategies and exclusive product wrappers then give our team a call (02031728193) or contact us on

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