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  • Does your business have foreign currency traffic? If so we might be the right partner for you...

    When we say 'foreign currency traffic' you would be forgiven for thinking that we are asking whether your business is engaged in the exchange of currencies. Of course, were it, we would be interested in speaking with you, but, the focus of this post is to discuss the ways in which we can assist and work with business who encounter businesses and individuals that do engage in such currency dealings. During the course of your day to day business, does your company come across those who send, receive, hold or exchange currencies? If the answer is yes then we are minded to ask whether you feel that your good counsel is what those customers rely on during the course of your dealings with them? Again, if the answer is yes, then we would ask you to consider the below example. We have taken one of the more common examples that it is our prerogative to use. An individual or a corporate entity buying a property valued at £2,000,000 but funding the purchase with a foreign currency could save in the region of €30,000 (if we suppose they are funding the purchase with euros) simply because of the improvements we can offer on the rate of exchange at which the conversion of funds occurred. If your business encounters or deals with private clients or business involved in transaction so of this size, or larger or indeed smaller, then we can provide a measurable saving to them simply by applying a refined margin versus their retail banking or transaction channel. We would ask whether that sounds appealing...however, the appeal of a saving when hypothetical isn't half as compelling as asking your to qualify what value that sort of saving might hold for your client. If you are their route to such a saving, then, are you not imbued with being worth that sum in addition to the services you already provide? One of the main reasons why Prime Cap came into being is because we felt that too much money is being left on the table by private clients and businesses when engaged in larger ticket, less frequent currency exchange transactions. Our target market were not being presented with related comparisons and figures against which to judge our worth and, furthermore, the value of our work to those who might refer us to their clients was not at the forefront. Prime Cap would rather work with a business that deals with our target market and enhance their value as well as demonstrate our own, as opposed to paying to market ourselves directly to prospective client. Through a bespoke model or partnership, price and product we can reach more clients and elevate the value of our partners too...making an alignment with Prime Cap a true win for all. If you would like to discuss this in more detail then please do message us directly through or email #currencyexchange #privateclient #sendmoney #propertysearch

  • "Best UK Deliverable Currency Broker 2019"

    AI International Finance Awards continues to recognise the companies, and individuals, within the finance industry who have shown excellence and dedication in their field. Aiming to reveal and reward those who have overcome the difficulties posed by the ongoing global economic issues to thrive and prosper. This prestigious award marks the hard work and stellar efforts of those who have helped shape this demanding and dynamic industry, and AI's comprehensive selection and judging process singles out Prime Cap as a true market leaders of 2019. The nomination, selection and judging process takes over 3 months, during which time industry experts research, count nominations and analyse all supporting evidence to ensure that only the most deserving and top performing individuals, firms and products are recognised. Awards are given on merit alone. This means that the number of votes received, size of nominated firms or financial incentives play no part in the crowning of award winners, with all recipients being decided upon through exhaustive and rigorous research and judging process, carried out by a dedicated in-house team. Of PRIME CAP PAYMENTS - With a particular focus on individuals and HNW property-related payment services, Prime Cap's ability to translate the intricacies of global foreign exchange and international settlement activities into simple, practical and extremely valuable guidance has won them notoriety across the sector as the boutique challenger to the private banking and API deliverable FX monopoly. Actively but discreetly courting the UK's private client market, as well as carrying a robust corporate services offering, elevates Prime Cap Payments from the mainstream. "As a client nominated category, we find ourselves particularly flattered an honoured by this success. Prime Cap focusses on private client currency matters particularly and, in a sector dominated by bank and private equity backed APIs, we find ourselves often humbled by the consistent endorsement we receive from our partners and clients. 2018 saw us named the Best UK Currency Broker in the Wealth & Finance Business Awards. To be acknowledged in 2019 in this way, and winning versus some significant players in the UK deliverable currency space, is hugely gratifying and something we are immensely proud of." Jamie Lesinski | Founder & Managing Director | 0203 417 5781 | #InternationalFinanceAwards2019 #privateclient #FXawards #awardsandrecognition

  • Is it worth holding your own foreign currency accounts, and what does it mean for rates?

    A blog post of two halves. What does holding your own currency account mean when it comes to the rates of exchange you can expect from your banking provider? Frankly - absolutely nothing. Unless you negotiate and push in precisely the same way as you might were you only operating with a GBP account and sending funds abroad you'll find yourself and your currency exchange margins no more favourable. We wouldn't advise you to avail yourselves of your own foreign currency accounts unless it was operationally beneficial so to do. Setting them up simply because you 'hope it might make international payments or currency exchange transactions more competitive or easier' is not sound because it actually does neither of those two things. If you elected to disregard the rate of exchange applied to exchanges and movements of money between your EUR account and your GBP account (for example) then you might find it reassuring or even simple to watch funds move from one silo to another, but, just because they are held with the same institution does not mean you will get a more favourable rate or even a lower transaction fee. You will still need to login to your online banking, input amounts and move the funds. Our take on this is that if you're going to login to your online banking, you might as well send funds to us and let us pop them into your other currency account at a commercial rate. The actions involved are literally the same. You can give us a quick 30 second call to place your order, then send us the funds and we take care of the rest, same day and costing you and your business significantly less. Holding your own currency accounts is helpful for businesses who receive foreign currencies in from customers as well as send them out to suppliers. If you're selling your wears overseas or, earning mainly in GBP but have to support a foreign currency payroll, then, holding a EUR or USD account as well as a GBP one is sensible. We can help you with this as we offer currency accounts for our clients, in their names and, if needed, local. We encourage many businesses to hold a foreign currency 'float' and we actively advise business to avoid making a foreign currency exchange if they can...whilst that may seem odd for a broker, it is in the best interest of our clients' economy because they will always loose something on the rate spread when using a financial institution (whether that be a broker or a bank). Some businesses choose to use our segregated client trust accounts to collect payments from clients and customers. We can also arrange for your own virtual IBAN and SWIFT account so that you're invoicing from your own administered facility rather than our client collection account. If you're considering expanding your sales activity abroad then speak with your broker about our custom named accounts. Whilst your use of your own currency accounts will depend entirely on the sophistication of your accounting, banking and financial activities, our experts will tend to assert that your foreign currency activities won't be any less costly. We'd be delighted to talk you through the improvements a commercial rate of exchange might afford you and how our prices and process can work seamlessly with our custom accounts. Furthermore we can make some sound and impartial introductions to a number of treasuring advisers and banking institutions who can help you expand your operation in the most profitable and scalable way. 0203 172 8193 | | @primecapbrokers #accounts #IBAN #overseas #currency #ownaccounts

  • Buying Prime | You've registered as a client; what happens next?

    Practically, once a client has formally registered with Prime Cap our segregated client trust accounts are made available for settlement. There are a couple of ways a private client might approach use of our accounts. Knowing they have a finite foreign currency amount, the client might wish to send us this sum. Then, and in discussion with our brokers, they select the time at which they feel the rate is most favourable or they act off signals that might suggest the rate is likely to worsen. The other method is to simply lock in the rate of exchange prior to having funded our account. We have no preference as to which method the client uses, however, certain domestic banking frameworks limit or restrict the flexibility a client has over extraction and transmission of their own money. Consider for instance the fact that it may take you 3 working days to send and receive USD from an account in China. This is because of the regulatory hoops through which a client needs to jump in order to successfully instruct a transmission of currency. If you have booked a rate of exchange prior to funding your account with us then we and you are somewhat in the dark as to how enthusiastically your local bank (in China) will approach the transmission of the settlement for the exchange. Whilst we tailor our settlement terms to account for the worst case scenario when it comes to receiving your capital, we do not want to tie you to a term that impedes the speed with which we can release the GBP you might be buying. By this we mean that, if your completion date is Friday the 11th, booking a rate of exchange on the 9th and instructing your bank to send the base currency to us on the same day, may mean that funds do not actually arrive with us by 11th. It totally depends on the efficacy of your local bank - and we will always take steps to make sure you are aware of any potential delays. To give peace of mind some clients will conduct an initial tester transmission from which we can infer the length of time it will take for money to clear with us, and advise on the appropriate contract and terms accordingly. Just because you can send $1000 and it might arrive within 24hrs does not mean that a larger capital sum will arrive in the same time frame, so, we always strongly advise our clients to pay just as close attention to the time it will take money to get to where it needs to be as they do to their appetite to gamble on the rate going higher in the days leading up to their deadline. We can credit outgoing funds on the day the incoming base currency arrives with us. This technically means that a client can wait until quite literally the last minute to see if the rate is better for them. This approach, whilst perhaps understandable, carries with it obvious risks especially if you have not been able to expressly confirm how long it will take for your bank to settle with us; what is more, that rate might not be better on that last day... hence, we encourage purchasers to plan four days ahead of their intended date of completion (if not more). Our recommendation so to do stems from an inherent risk aversion on our part. If something can take more time than one thought it might, then one owes it to one's self and one's client to obviate that risk by executing early enough to react. Many of the private client referred to us by our partners in the legal sector are sophisticated international operators in their own right. They may have been connected with us precisely because their solicitor is aware of the distinct savings our rates equate to, and yet such individuals are usually familiar with the sending and receiving of funds for other reasons and yet, even bearing that in mind we would assert that the precedents for your sending and receiving of funds should not be relied upon when it comes to a transaction as time sensitive as completion on a property. We do not assert this because the transaction is necessarily any more important than any of the other exchanges you may have conducted under your own recognisance, but because it is simply best practise to have affairs such as this considered and actioned in advance of cut-off times...for one thing, you're often charged for matters external to the vanilla conveyancing of a property on an hourly basis. It is simple, quick and easy to register with a boutique broker like Prime Cap. The assumption that it is in some way a drawn-out process is some times the obstacle over which certain clients cannot climb. Remember, you are not setting up a bank account with Prime Cap. You are providing sufficient information for us to satisfy ourselves and our regulators as to the probity of the funds you are sending and your own identity and location. In fact, the registration often takes less than moments. Whether you are an agent weighing up whether it is worth aligning yourself with a specialist currency broker so as to improve you clients' experience, or you are a lawyer interested in understanding the extent to which the work we do might benefit your client, we invite you to reach out and introduce yourself to us. As a private client trying to familiarise yourself with the sending, receiving, holding and exchange of currencies, we invite you to call and speak with our experienced team. | 02034175871 | #privatebank #SourcingProperty #Londonproperty #buyingproperty #Highnetworth #residentialconveyancing #farrers #Withers

  • Buying Prime | planning your purchase.

    The majority of referrals we receive from the legal sector relate to the purchase of London property. The overriding consideration for us when referred to someone bringing capital into the UK is the actual country or jurisdiction in which the client resides at the point of registration. Our dealings with a referred client might be rather brief if they live and hold their capital in a country we aren't able to deal with from a regulatory perspective. It largely comes down to what information we are able to verify and how comfortable we are with the profile we are able to create for and of our prospective client. Due to the reciprocal nature of tax visibility with certain global jurisdictions (or lack thereof), there are some countries that we just cannot deal with when it comes to where a client lives. Until the end of 2018, one such country was the United States. Whilst a large number of our private client referrals are people living in the US, it is usually the case that their capital is either lodged outside the US or they have a qualifying exemption - for instance they split their time between the US and another country, they already have residential or primary property in the UK, or they are simply exchanging US dollars rather than actually living in the United States themselves. If you are in pursuit of a better rate of exchange or you are advising someone considering a property purchase, early engagement of a currency broker can save you thousands if not tens of thousands of pounds. Even if we cannot conduct the exchange for you, our free advice and guidance may shed light on ways of improving your rates, margins and control over a transaction. The reason I say that Prime Cap was unable to deal with US residents until late 2018 is because, from that date, we began working with a US FINCEN and FATCA license holder whose reach meant and continues to mean that we can now register and work with US resident private clients and US incorporated entities. This is a huge result for a firm of our size and age and places us squarely ahead of competitors whose focus is only EMEA. If you're buying property in the UK but funding, or part funding, from assets you hold in currencies other than sterling, the GBP amount you need to achieve will invariably be fixed as and when your offer is accepted. This means that from that moment the sterling value of the foreign currency you hold will be changing with the market. Rates of exchange fluctuate around 52 times a minute. Wholesale global interbank rates of exchange underpin the sort of rate movements a client might be affected by. There is a very simple solution to getting rid of the extent to which you might be affected (for good or ill) by movements in the rate of exchange - it is called forward buying - and we tend to find that a client would much rather fix their foreign currency cost rather than leave themselves at the mercy of the market's movements - buying the currency you need as close to the time your offer is accepted is the best way to make sure you have the foreign currency amount you need by the time you have to settle for a purchase, and buying forward is a way of doing this but just deferring paying for your currency until your completion date. So, what we mean by the above is that with a firm like Prime Cap you do not need to have all your capital liquid in order to lock in a rate. We can use a combination of tools and contracts to limit your exposure to adverse movements in a rate. When the UK buying process requires you to provide a percentage of the purchase cost as and when contracts are exchanged between the parties involved, many of our clients view deposit and balance payments as two separate exchanges. This of course means that two different rates of exchange may be involved and, depending on directions in the market's movement, more or less of a foreign currency will be required for those two payments. Buying all the currency you need on one contract means the foreign currency cost will neither climb nor fall with the market. Therefore, we ask our clients which option they would prefer: An 'on the spot' exchange for the deposit payment and an on the spot exchange for the balance payment - with the chance that either of the two rates might be better or worse than the former or latter. Or, One rate for the entire purchase and the ability to settle the booking with us at a date convenient to the timeline of the purchase. It is as simple as that. 0203 368 115 | | @primecapbrokers #property #londonproperty #forwardcontract #UnitedStates #USD #solicitor

  • Online | Diamonds | Wholesale

    Antwerp in The Netherlands. 84% of the world's rough diamonds and over $16billion worth of polished diamonds pass through Antwerp's exchanges annually. As you might expect, many of these rare a precious stones are, understandably, priced/valued in EUR, but, a large proportion are also valued in the global reserve currency of US dollars. This means businesses and brokers operating outside the sphere of this local or reserve currency, for instance those in the UK, require currency exchange capabilities in order to pay for items and to value items them may wish to sell, and trade or operate globally across these markets. Prime Cap assists brokerages, wholesale distributors and jewellers who might in fact work with the end product, to procure said gems and jewels at commercial, rather than retail, rates of exchange. Margin means a great deal to businesses like Canary Blue operating in these spheres, but, what can be more useful is insight and understanding as to what moves rates of exchange and how to minimise if not remove exposure to adverse movements whilst keeping the door open to benefitting from an upside shift in rates. Transactions in this sector can be intensely time sensitive, requiring imminent if not immediate settlement of purchases. The ability to input and execute an exchange directly and without delay is a significant lure to those businesses exchanging currencies daily if not hourly - and this is precisely what our corporate payment and settlements platform is geared to cater for. We have always said that the Prime Cap approach is a blended one. We have taken the new and simple tech solutions that tempt millennial customers to deal through their handheld devices, and applied foreign exchange functionality to it... ...but, at the same time we keep our brokers present and visible, enabling business and private clients to access the insight that will optimise their dealing activities and add value to their experiences of exchanging and sending money to clients, suppliers, friends and family. | 0203 172 8193 | #diamonds #online #sendmoney #exchanges

  • CONTRACTS | What is a 'Forward' contract, who uses it and why?

    Rather than just sitting down and writing what we think a 'Forward' contract is and how you might go about using one to best effect, as you might expect and in an attempt to flesh out our more colloquial references to them, we have done some research. We've looked at how others describe them... What regulators think of forward contracts and what they think are their associated risks and benefits; and we have also looked at how our current clients implement it/them in the course of their day to day currency activities and longer term risk and payment strategies. So, in tried and tested GCSE fashion, let's begin with the online definition: "A forward contract is an agreement between two parties giving the buyer an obligation to purchase an asset (and the seller an obligation to sell an asset) at a set price at a future point in time." 1) It is a customised contract between two parties to buy or sell an asset at a specified price on a future date. 2) It can be used for 'hedging' or speculation, although its non-standardised nature makes it particularly apt for hedging. Unlike standard futures contracts, a forward contract can be customised to any commodity, amount and delivery date. 3) A forward contract's 'settlement' can occur on a cash or delivery basis. Forward contracts do not trade on a centralised exchange and are therefore regarded as over-the-counter (OTC) instruments. 4) While their OTC nature makes it easier to customise terms, the lack of a centralised clearing house also gives rise to a higher degree of default risk. As a result, forward contracts are not as easily available to the retail investor as futures contracts. Whilst you may have understood the check list above, not only does it bear repeating, but, some of what is said could stand to be translated into common English. We added in the numbers in above list so that we can systematically go through each number and provide you with the explanation that might be relevant to how you could use a forward. ​​ 1) Customised means that the date on which someone pays for the forward is not arbitrarily agreed between the seller and the buyer. It is not a set or conventionally understood length of time - like a spot contract might be. Also, arrangements for margin or deposits is bespoke to the forward prior to booking it. You (the client) set the date you want to complete a forward, but, you can also include provisions to shorten the contract term/length if you want to. So, someone buying a house in France might set their forward maturity date a whole month later/after the completion date for the purchase just in case something meant they could not meet the completion deadline, as a precaution. Ensuring you use the right forward, you're not tied to that date 4 weeks later, but can shorten the contract length so as to take receipt of your currency on the day of completion or a fraction before if you wish - you've customised the contract to reflect the fact that you might want to close it off early. Think of it like your forward buys a pot of currency. The terms of the forward means you can take out funds from the pot over the period of the forward until the currency is gone. If you do not take funds from that pot then when the maturity date comes around you have the whole sum to do with as you will. In some cases you might pay more for a forward that allows you to access or 'draw down' funds before the maturity date, but that depends on the terms struck with your broker. ​​ 2) Being useful for hedging or speculation essentially means that you can use a forward to protect yourself against a rate of exchange moving the 'wrong way'. By the same token, depending on the particulars of your forward(s), you can use it to gain from movements in rates. We tend to think of hedging in a quite a literal way. I am a UK (GBP £) furniture retailer/importer. An arm chair costs me $20 from my chinnese supplier. This means that as of right now a chair costs me £10 (hypothetically), because the rate might be $2 to £1. I want to buy 500 chairs which, right now, would cost me $10,000 or £5000. My supplier asks me to pay a 10% deposit for this order, with a further balance 90 days from now when the order is ready to ship. If the rate of exchange is different 90 days from now, the amount of sterling I have to pay will be different. So, If I use a forward contract I can buy the $10,000 I need at the current rate which fixes my GBP cost at £5000. Essentially I have put in place an obstacle (contract) to ensure that my costs cannot escalate even if the rate changes. To view this in a literal sense - I have placed a physical 'hedge' behind me, so that even if the rate moves, my hedge will not and my costs remain the same. Now, that probably isn't how someone in the financial markets would necessarily illustrate what is meant by hedging. It is more to do with 'hedging one's bets' but, we prefer to look at it in terms of fixing your costs and securing your position. A 'forward contract' 'forward buying' and 'hedging solution' are all the same thing. ​​ 3) In the context to deliverable currency 'cash or delivery' means that if you were to reach the point/date of maturity on the contract you could either elect to take receipt of the foreign currency secured, or you could opt to sell it back to the market. Consider: I buy 500 chairs on a forward contract for $10,000 due to for settlement 90 days from now. In 90 days the rate of exchange might be higher - so, sterling has risen in value (for instance £1 = $1.50 and 90 days later £1 = $1.60). This means that it would actually cost me fewer pounds if I hadn't bought forward - because a spot contract would be at that higher rate. Unfortunately I have pledged myself to this forward contract though, hence, I cannot drop the contract and buy the product at the better current/spot rate. Doing so would mean that I needed to exchange back the foreign currency amount i'd purchased 90 days ago. I committed to buying it, therefore I do have to pay for it. If i didn't want the currency any more I would need to sell the USD bought on the forward contract and, as we have already said, the USD has lost value against GBP which means I would be unable to buy back the same GBP amount I had initially sold - the dollar being worth less. There would be a shortfall, a difference, cost to cover - sadly, as per the contract, that shortfall or difference is your responsibility to pay, and, you're therefore legally obliged to pay the amount you would have saved because of the rate movement - hence, the point of not settling the contract is moot. You'd have to pay us the saving because you're liable for any difference in the selling back of the USD you asked us to buy. On the flip side, if the pound had lost value against the dollar (so, gone from £1 = $1.50 to £1 = $1.30)...a scenario I am specifically trying to protect myself from the effects of...the USD I have bought are, by the end of the contract, worth more in GBP than they were when I struck the contract. If I were to sell those USD back into sterling I would be able to buy more pounds than I initially sold, which would constitute a profit. In theory, this second scenario is what is meant by using a forward contract for speculation. However that is only theoretical because I engaged in a forward contract because I actually wanted to buy the aforementioned chairs. I was not entering in to the contract purely to bet on movements in the rate. Outright speculation would be akin to saying 'I am buying in now because I think that what I am buying will be worth more by the end of the contract.' This is a use of our services which is not permitted. As it happens, brokers like Prime Cap do not and cannot engage in speculative activity. So, if someone came to us asking us to undertake the second of the two scenarios, then we would be duty bound to decline their business. Where we find ourselves protected is that those clients who do use a forward contract and find the foreign currency is worth more at the end of the contract term, they must remember that they still have a product they need/wish to pay for. They're tremendously unlikely to sell those dollars back for a GBP profit given they still need to buy that which they ordered 90 days ago. ​​ 4) Default risk is the the chance that the client does not pay for the currency bought. So, in the scenarios above, where the rate of exchange rises, meaning one might be getting a more favourable rate on the spot market, you would be forgiven for thinking that a client would simply dump their forward contract because it is costing them more. As we've said, you cannot do that because not only would it mean you're on the hook for the difference between the bought currency and the sold one, but also because currency contracts of this type are in fact legally binding. The risk of default is the risk that you or any other client might simply refuse to pay the agreed amount for settlement. To obviate this risk we tend to ask new clients or those with an as yet untested trading requirement to lodge a sum with us to serve as margin or a deposit. We usually ask that client lodge between 5 and 10% with us. We do this precisely because, depending on the currency being used and the length of time we are going forward, we can broadly estimate 5 to 10% to be the potential movement in the rate of exchange. If my 500 chairs dropped by 10% in cost I might be inclined to renegotiate my contract - but, you cannot. That is the single and only caveat to a forward contract. Once done it is done. You do not have the 'option' to are committed; and, if you were to withhold settlement, we would be entitled to use the deposit amount to cover the differences in rates. You forfeit 10%. Using a forward contract tends to be something we encourage corporate clients to use. We also happily discuss their uses with private clients who have structures or staged payments. We must stress though that each matter is different and the proclivities of an instruction will always play a deciding role in whether one contract is used over another. We invite you to give us a ring if you would like to take about the use of these products and contracts. You're never obliged to transact with us and you may be surprised to learn about how flexible these tools and resources are. 0203 172 8193 | | @primecapbrokers #Forwardcontract #hedging #riusk #buying #trading #corporate

  • 50% deposit on a pro-forma invoice...100% certainty.

    Many importers, whether they call themselves importers or not, have to pay a deposit on certain goods before they can secure production. The remaining balance is then due before shipment. Consider, if the rate of exchange changes minute by minute, how do you make sure that the deposit you pay is exchanged at the same rate of exchange as the subsequent balance amount you send when, as far as paying the amounts is concerned, they are sent as two separate payments? The answer is simple: Buy the whole amount you require but send only half. "But, 'we do not have a euro account so where do we keep that remaining 50% between when we buy and when we want it sent" we hear you say.... ...again, the answer is simple: Buy all the currency through Prime Cap and hold the second 50% as a foreign currency balance on your facility with us. We consider the buying of currency as separate to the sending of an amount. So, with our simple online tools you can lock in the rate of exchange on the entire purchase, but, hold the amount you do not want to send in a secure, segregated client trust account until it is owed to your supplier. In fact, if you think the rate suits your objectives...for instance if it is currently slightly better than you had budgeted for, you can either buy an amount of foreign currency in anticipation of invoices coming in and payment needing to go out, or, you can negotiate terms whereby you lock in a rate of exchange for use much further down the line. A number of our clients lock in a rate now so that they can more accurately forecast and work with a fixed rate for their calculations and then send us the equivalent GBP amount of the foreign currency sum they wish to pay out at the point which the payment is required. Our systems allow an appointed signatory to buy currency for a business and then grant permission to an accountant or book keeper to login and send payments as required. Tiered 'permissions' enable business owners to work directly with live market rates and then delegate the use and disbursal of those funds as and when the invoice needs settling. This feature is not something your bank can accommodate. The ability to search our system for specific beneficiaries means that you can monitor and assess the payments you make to your supplier on an itemised basis and also report on and monitor your actual currency spend. Knowing how many euros or dollars you buy or hold helps support the case for setting up more sophisticated internal systems that support you growth and oversight capabilities for the longer term. If you don't already use an 'online system' for your currency payments take a look at our simple 'How to...' guide. It is a simple talking through the use of our online system...and goes hand in hand with a more detailed chat with our team about how to truly improve the way you send, receive, hold and exchange currencies. 0203 417 5781 | | @primecapbrokers #invoice #supplier #shipping #USD #payment

  • Our default operating setting is 'Prime View'. What does this mean?

    'Prime Managed', 'Prime Execution' & 'Prime View'. Three headings you may see dotted across the Prime Cap website, but, nowhere else. Currency businesses and their online articulation of their work and value tend to follow a similar format: Businesses tend to detach 'Private Client' foreign exchange from 'Corporate' or 'Business' foreign currency needs. We are not entirely sure why most companies make this distinction and our confusion is routed in the belief that the practical procedural 'things you need to do' in order to get money from one currency to another, and one bank account to another, is the same regardless of whether your need is personal of business focussed. We suppose that the main reason for the definition between 'private' and 'corporate' foreign exchange is that pigeon holing a client like this, or allowing the client to tell you which category they think they fit in to, makes for an easier on-boarding process? Additionally, it immediately allows the currency company to qualify the revenue potential for that client. Frankly though, those things are more important to firms that do not meet their clients and don't already have a personal referral on which to formulate both their approach and their recommendations prior to registration. It tends to be the case that business currency clients expect and receive smaller/tighter currency rates than individuals do. This is because most businesses engaged in international payments have exposure to currency businesses already so have come to learn what sort of level of competition they should expect. With an individual, perhaps not so. The three 'Service Wrappers', as we refer to them, in evidence on our website ( are as close to pigeon holing as we get, but, the methodology and reasons behind these three distinctions are different to those of other firms, and that is the key. You may notice that the explanations of these three service wrappers do not distinguish between personal and businesses use for our services; this is entirely intentional. With our belief that the individual person who is executing the exchange is the focus, we prefer to define and pigeon hole the service we will offer, rather than the need of the client. We want you to identify and show what we will provide based on your needs, rather than us using information you've given in order for us to qualify you to us. It may seem a round about way of explaining the purpose of these wrappers, but, we can assure you that it is different and makes a difference too. Defining clients, access, products and price based on whether you are a business or an individual is basically what a bank does and we feel is totally at odds with what a currency broker can offer and how a broker should approach their work. Take it from us, you being a personal customer or a business customer makes absolutely zero difference. So, why do our peers continue to press the distinction? Laziness. Prime View basically confirms to you that, if we do not choose any other setting or conduct a bespoke assessment, the Prime Cap team will only observe your online activities. View only means we will literally 'only view'. When a client logs in to our online system we can see this. We can see what currency, product and term is selected. If you have put in that you wish to exchange Euros in to Botswana Pula then we can see this and we will think 'hmmmm...Emma said she would be exchanging GBP to EUR...shall we give her a ring to confirm'. Many of our customers do genuinely prefer to pick up the telephone to us and talk through what they want to do. Some email their broker and know they can expect an immediate response. Other clients want to do it themselves online. We don't want to give them the key to car without telling them how to drive it, but, equally, we cannot change gear for them if they are behind the wheel. Bad analogies aside, the View Only setting gives you the security of know an experienced dealer is behind the scenes, but, you dont have to talk to anyone if you dont want to. The reason it is our 'default' setting is because we do sometimes have clients who just want to login and do-it-themselves. If that is what they expect then that is what they will get and we can very quickly read the room to conclude that clawing input from our broking team might not be welcome. Often we will notice things about someone's exchange activity that are indicative of habit or could stand to be improved. You may be exchanging in such a way that benefits from our intervention. If that is the case we will, having built a case to put to you, bring this to your attention. At the end of the day, whilst 'View Only' may be what we call the service we offer if nothing more appropriate enters our heads, it tends to be the case that each clients' activities include different aspects of the 'Execution Only' or 'Fully Managed' offering too. As mentioned before, one of the unique characteristics of our approach to currency exchange and payment strategy services is that it doesn't really matter to us who the overriding owner of the currency we're exchanging is. Nor does it matter how much they are exchanging. The main things that matter to us is that our rate is the best, the actual person inputting the details and conducting the exchange knows what they are doing and feels confident, and that whether a private client or a business, you have access to the most sophisticated consultative acumen and insight available. A business or a private makes no difference to us - you're a client. #ViewOnly #ExecutionOnly #FullyManaged

  • Getting married overseas? How to: pay for it.

    Our client is an executive at one of the worlds top accountancy firms. He and his fiance plan on marrying abroad. Since March of 2014 they have been drip-feeding sterling into a euro account they hold with Lloyds bank. The rate being good or bad doesn't really have too much of an effect on whether they convert, although they are in touch more so when sterling is stronger because, well, why not? They need to convert regardless of where the market sits because they obviously have a deadline by which time they need ‘x’ amount of euros to pay suppliers for their wedding. When one sends a payment with one’s bank one is charged both an up front fee and a percentage fee which is deducted from (or rather incorporated into) the rate of exchange provided by one’s bank. There is nothing untoward about this. It is exactly like paying to be a member of a group that gets discounts. You are paying your bank to use their service and they are also marking up the cost of the ‘product’ when you purchase and it can be the case that the more you buy, in terms of both frequency and volume, the better the terms you are offered. This is the principle that Prime Cap also makes use of…and is the reason we can offer better rates to our customers. One of the key things to remember is that in precisely the same way as you might shop around on the high street for a domestic appliance you can shop around for your pound or your euro or your dollar. Different companies and banks will have different structures that allow you to save on the cost of sending a payment and converting one currency into another. The banking sector varies. Some banks charge nothing but give a poor rate of exchange or the payment takes a while to arrive at its destination. Other banks charge you as much as £30 and it still takes a while to arrive at wits destination. Some banks apply only 0.75% to their exchange rate, others 3.5%. It really does vary so tremendously that one wonders how one’s bank arrives at its charges…especially when you are already using them for all your other financial bits and pieces. Our customer above is being rather clever though because he is exploiting Prime Cap's pricing structure to ensure that he pays far far less then he might otherwise. He is benefiting not only from the competitive rates we provide, but also a pricing mechanism that means his fees are far less. At Prime Cap we charge a customer a flat fee for the processing of a payment - £10. We offer our clients a number of different ways to send their money. Depending on the bank I am using to send my payments from (and I can use whichever bank I have an account with) I can offer my client access to more than one payment network/option. In this particular case I use ‘SEPA’ (Single European Payments Area). If sending money within SEPA the costs to a broker like us are far far lower; a fraction of the cost of using other methods like TT (telegraphic transfer). So, by electing to send money to their euro account using SEPA my client avoids any other fee. You may not think it a lot saved…but, if you consider that my client has made 14 payments since March 2014, then, by using SEPA and sending smaller amounts they have saved themselves well over £245 on fees from us, £133 on fees from Lloyds and (on the basis that they send no less than £1000 per transaction) approximately £500 when the rate of exchange we offer is compared with that of their bank. To arrive at this estimate we multiplied £1000 by 14 (amount by frequency). 1% being £140. On average we can shave 2.5% off the rate of exchange applied by a bank like Lloyds (conservatively) which equates to £490 left in our customer’s pocket. Our customer has over £500 more to spend on their wedding abroad because they used what is a very simple system to their advantage. It is equivalent to a nice cake or 100 €4 bottles of wine. Sending a payment by SEPA does not guarantee that their money arrives at its destination the very same day. Invariably it does, but it is not guaranteed, so we must concede that the system applied here fitted well with the customers wants and requirements, but would not be suitable for someone who wants to get money abroad the very same day guaranteed. Want to know if we can help structure your overseas wedding payments...pick up that phone and ask us! 02031728193 #wedding #overseas #PrimeCap #Lloyds #Rates #foreignexchange #payment #EUR #Europe

  • Planes, Trains & Automobiles.

    This week's post is all about getting more for your money - a sentiment perfectly encapsulated in the three examples we are about to detail. Planes, trains and automobiles - three different clients, three different treatment, one company to trade them all. So, let's begin at 30,000 ft. Our client is an independent UK-based aircraft charter broker. They are European specialists in commercial jet, private jet and helicopter charters and uniquely positioned to deliver the perfect, 'tailored' charter solution. With nearly 200 years’ experience in travel and aviation across the team and an extensive network of contacts and reputable carriers, you won't be surprised to hear that they are what we consider a 'sophisticated user of foreign currency services', expecting nothing less than the diligence and high standards their own clients would expect of them. With operations in a number of European and global aviation hubs, our client needs rapid & exact pricing, quick and simple execution for a team spread around the world and with varying levels of exposure to payment activities - ie. more than one person making payments. On a day to day basis we talk their payments team, in the UK and abroad, through booking and settlement on a number of running orders in no fewer than 3 currencies. More broadly we consult on the timing and use of hedging strategies and forward contracts relevant to both operational liabilities and direct client revenue - all of which are designed to fix the margin of their dividend local currency, sterling. Working with more than one currency, more than one banking institution in more than one geographical jurisdiction means our team have to be totally on point, and one of the most powerful ways of ensuring a 'round the clock' service capacity is the importance we place on the use of our online systems, both for pricing and calculations and for monitoring of payment flows. This client has fed back to us across a number of different verticals as to the way they want and need to work, whom we need to prioritise and a schedule hierarchy that allows us to operate as executive on certain tasks, which in turn frees up core members of their team to focus on other aspects of their payments activity. As you can tell from the language used to outline this mandate, this is a rigid structure formed of an understanding of the high standards our client expects. We fully expect to be replaced in 2 - 3 years time by an in-house treasury function as the business grows and evolves. Until that happens we will continue to cater for multiple payment requirements and, once/should they develop an in-house department we will then re-tender for their more transactional and trading mandate. The good thing about working with a company in such a fast paced and dynamic sector is that they are not afraid to take instruction so long as what is being recommended ties in with the core operational values determined by the CFO. :: TO THE TRACKS :: Our client is a UK based consultancy business providing long term advisory services to a mainline train operator located in Germany. As well as providing private sector funding and procurement advice, our client oversaw investor relations, reporting and capital deployment over a 7 year period. Our role was to receive funds from the German parent company for the UK payroll obligations of the UK subsidiary. Priced in EUR, the project's operation currency was euro, however, as individuals and officers of the company, the UK staff had elected to be remunerated in GBP. We were formally appointed to receive the EUR sum on a monthly basis, broker it's exchange to sterling at a pre-agreed fixed spread and disburse funds to the relevant UK stakeholders in a timely and predictable fashion. This is a representation of a more automated, structured payment mandate. Having performed their due diligence on us and having sat down and conducted a detailed assessment of our financial position, the board felt that we had both the reputation, capacity and oversight to consistently provide them with the value they sought. We took over responsibility for this brief from a far larger 'factory firm' whose operation had undergone some significant changes and shifted towards online private client remittance services. This was to our benefit as it left a vacuum in their service offering when it came to hands-on administration of their payment processes. Our automated funds-in identification protocol informed the CFO of the arrival of the EUR salary amount on a monthly basis. As soon as funds were identified they were flipped in to GBP using the pre-agreed fixed spread, and then released directly to the UK staff members who were simultaneously informed that their pay for that month was en route to them. It was the level of automation coupled with the dedicated account management that set us apart from their erstwhile payments provider. Our client is an individual with a passion for vintage vehicles. When the price was right and his appetite couldn't be controlled, this individual bought cars. These cars might be in the UK or abroad in countries ranging from France to The Netherlands, to USA. The local currency cost of these vehicles would change in accordance with the underlying movement of the global currency market. Therefore, our client relied heavily on both our online pricing platform and the dedicated voice broking services we run alongside it. As the beneficiaries being paid in this instance were always different, the flexibility we brought to the client in the form of more than one way of supplying us with the beneficiary details was a key attraction. Once provided with the information from the party they needed to pay, our client could login and upload the relevant banking co-ordinates direct to the system confident in the knowledge that we would look over them and verify them before anything was released. Alternatively, they could simply email and ask us to take care of uploading and the release of the payment itself. Whilst everything we do is always available to every client, by talking through 'need' and 'want' with the client we make sure no to overload discussions with process heavy chat. The key is maintaining the semblance of simplicity, whilst presenting ourselves as comprehensive in our approach. It goes without saying that every transactions conducted for the client mentioned above was undertaken using a commercial foreign exchange rate. This means that as well as the other bells and whistles, the clients in question could rest easy knowing that they couldn't get a better rate from anywhere else. We find that offering to improve a rate always excites interest, but, more often than not it is the other aspects of the service and our capabilities that cements the relationship. No matter how obscure your market, niche or specialism, currency payments are often pretty straightforward. Professionals in our space and firms in the same segment sometimes get consumed by this belief that you can become a subject matter expert in the dealings of one's client. At the end of the day we are currency brokers. We are not experts in the buying process for French property, or the disbursement of funds from an acrimonious divorce. We are specialist in making sure those engaged in those types of instructions get the best rate and the most appropriate services; we rely on those who refer to us to have an expert understanding of the context...and we think that brokers who call themselves specialist in 'high value property' or 'dealing with sports men and women' are ignoring the fact that conventional treatments of such matter (a cookie cutter approach) may very well not be the most appropriate, compelling or competitive way of working. For straightforward, personalised advice and guidance on foreign currency activities, give us a call on 02031728193. #aviation #planes #jet #trains #germany #payments #cars

  • Prime Cap Insight: How we work with a Wealth Manager...

    Disposal of foreign currency denominated assets and repatriation of a foreign currency lump sum so as to make use of wrappers and structures that better suit your longer term tax, savings and investment objectives is often an exercise that benefits somewhat, if not hugely, from the fractional but meaningful improvements a non-bank broker, like Prime Cap, can offer on rates of exchange, contract types, terms, and transmission, holding & clearing costs. Many financial services businesses are not wholly 'turned on' to the measurable benefits that can come from working with an a-tuned currency broker; so, let's explore some of the way in which 'we' can be used and some of the bottom and top line enhancements we can bring to the margin ordinarily available to UK and worldwide private client digitally converting and transmitting physical currency... In the world of private wealth volume is important. Returns are often best affected on the more sizeable portfolios. Equally, losses evened out by longer term plays. This tends to mean that sundry conversions of currency and movements of capital for fairly mundane things are often overlooked when it comes to competitive treatments. And yet, with a private client moving funds somewhat often - a retired surgeon living in the south of France who moves £10 - $15k twice a quarter for his living expenses, when annualised the savings on £80,000 and upwards are higher than 1%...which, in a low interest UK environment constitutes a return that many savings facilitators would happily publicise. So, why then do so few wealth management businesses formally align their brands with specialists in foreign exchange? Brewin Dolphin for one - they have no 'house partnership' with an FX firm. Julius Baer likewise. Sure, they may be EAMs or Private Banks in their own right, but they don't 'sell' FX advisory as a product other than as part of a diversified or focused investment category. Deliverable currency - the movement of money between accounts - is left by the wayside. We know that internally these institutions use their prime brokers to convert between nostro accounts. Their treasury is their own business and, as it happens, most|many enjoy similar margins on their proprietary FX conversions (with turnovers that exceed if not match that of many FX brokers) which closes the door on someone like Prime Cap being able to win their treasury business, but, their clients tend not to have the same arrangements or access. Referring FX work to someone like Prime Cap not only keeps the client local, but, also limits the opportunity for other financial services players to enter the fray. Given that we only work with sources we know (so we won't necessarily entertain an approach from a prospective client who doesn't mention a referring name with which we're familiar) our referrers know whom they are referring to and can take confidence from that. We know we would rather someone we cannot assist being introduced to a trust source who can aide them, than being left to trawl Google to help themselves and we suppose our peers in the wealth management space take the same view. Although not public material, our marketing team recently sought opinion on a 'HOW IT WORKS' brochure. The idea was essentially panned because it was concluded that the array of FX matters to which the concepts under analysis might apply was so broad that to try and condense the principles of our approach and our work (the two being equally important to us) would be an exercise in futility; also, we found ourselves getting angry about just how poor the banking sector is - marketing material written in anger is not attractive. That being said, what do you think? 'How it works' tends to be one of the most often coined phrases around the Prime Cap table. Foreign exchange services such as ours are still relatively, and somewhat incredibly, niche and even those with an understanding of the principles of our operation tend to overlook or even forget to introduce them to clients for whom they could be supremely valuable. Since the Retail Distribution Review and what was billed as a renaissance for transparency, a number of wealth managers and financial advisers, independent or not, have questioned the ethics behind referring a client for FX services. Well, if you do not ask for a kick back or a bung, then you are not only compliant with the spirit of the legislation, but you can sleep better because you've done a selfless good deed for your client - how patronising are we! We find that persistency backed by consistency propagates our networks. Increasingly those networks include those dealing in the savings, investments, borrowing and lending spaces. Our goal is to steadfastly pump margin back in to our prices so that those competitors who attempt to scale at the cost of competition for the client reach critical mass and can no longer be called a competitor of us. It's about the long game, you see. If you would like to have a chat with us about any of our work, who we work with and who we work for then do give us a ring on 02031728193. We would be very grateful for your feedback on the above material too. #wealthmanagement #IFA #assetmanagement #RDR #RetailDistributionReview #referral #Marketing #Marketingmaterial #Banks

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