Below you will find out the highs, lows & averages of GBP to AUD, its full history, why should ignore forecasts, and how you can achieve a better GBP to AUD exchange rate.
Highest GBP to AUD rate ever
The Pound hit an all-time high of $3.028 against the Australian Dollar on 27th September 2001.
In 2001, the UK had a booming financial sector and stable political and economic environment. These factors lifted the Pound.
Lowest GBP to AUD rate ever
The Pound fell to an all-time low of $1.3606 against the Australian Dollar on 14th January 1985.
In 1985, it was more a case of Dollar strength than Pound weakness.
Average GBP to AUD rate
The GBP to AUD rate has averaged $2.1345 since the Australian Dollar floated in 1983.
The Aussie Dollar was introduced in 1966, but its value was fixed against other currencies until 1983. From 1983 onward, it has been freely floating, reflecting the underlying supply and demand.
Why most GBP to AUD rates are 'fake'
Most people get exchange rates off the internet these days.
There are dozens of websites that provide live exchange rates.
Even Google will pop up a rate if you type “GBP to AUD”.
But here’s the thing many people don't know: the rates you see online are not rates customers can get in the real world.
You are seeing something called “interbank rates”.
As the name suggests, an interbank rate is a rate banks use to trade between themselves.
Banks act as the central exchange in currency markets, so they use the interbank rate to balance their books.
The point is: Interbank rates are not customer rates.
Even large corporations or currency brokers don't buy or sell at interbank rates.
In fairness, most of the websites that publish interbank rates usually have a disclaimer that explains that the rates they show are not available to customers.
It’s invariably buried in the small print.
Even Google has a little link underneath the rate that says “Data provided by Morningstar”.
You go to the link at it says the data is for “informational purposes only and is not intended for trading purposes.”
XE.com is another popular source of exchange rates.
The disclaimer on XE is a bit clearer “Consumer clients or small to medium-sized businesses cannot access these rates.”
It can be a source of frustration for customers because they just assume the rates you see online are commercially available.
If I didn’t work in the industry, that’s what I would assume too.
It matters because when you go to convert your Pounds into Australian Dollar, you may be using an artificial rate.
Your money transfer may end up costing you a lot more Pounds than you thought, or whoever is receiving the Australian Dollars may end up with a lot less than they were expecting.
Someone could get seriously short-changed.
If you want to budget more effectively, I would suggest requesting a quote from a bank or currency broker and getting a genuine GBP to AUD rate.
GBP to AUD chart – ups and downs explained
What moves the GBP to AUD rate?
In normal times, the GBP to AUD rate is largely driven by the relative economic performance of the UK and Australia.
There’s a whole load of (dull) economic data that impacts the exchange rate.
I’m talking about things like inflation, interest rates, economic growth, unemployment, the current account deficit, mortgage approvals (yawn, yawn) – the list goes on.
But every now and then, along comes a big event.
Recent examples have been the Global Financial Crisis, Brexit and Coronavirus.
These big events are like earthquakes compared to the daily tremors caused by economic data.
Big events tend to trigger major moves in the GBP to AUD exchange rate and often kick-start a new multi-year trend.
The big events in recent times have affected both the Pound and the Australian Dollar but to different extents.
Take Brexit, for example.
Clearly, it is more of an issue for the Pound than the Australian Dollar, making it more of a one-sided event.
As Brexit will cause significant changes to the UK in terms of laws, trade and travel, it adds potential risk for the UK economy, and therefore the Pound has been negatively impacted.
The Global Financial Crisis caused more of a two-stage reaction to the GBP to AUD rate.
When the crisis first began in late 2008, the knee-jerk reaction of investors was to dump the Aussie Dollar.
GBP to AUD shot up to $2.60 at the peak of the crisis in October 2008.
The sharp sell-off in AUD was because the Australian economy is highly dependent on commodity exports.
Commodity prices tend to get hit hard when there is an economic downturn, which in turn hits the Aussie Dollar like a sledgehammer.
But once investors understood the financial crisis was a banking not economic crisis, the Pound swung violently down (London’s financial centre is a disproportionately large part of the UK economy).
The GBP to AUD rate spent 4 ½ years in a downtrend following the financial crisis, eventually hitting a low of $1.44 in April 2013.
That’s a huge 45% drop from the heights reached in October 2008.
More recently, Coronavirus caused another major move in the GBP to AUD rate.
The knee-jerk response was to dump the commodity-sensitive Australian Dollar. In early April 2020, the GBP to AUD surged to $2.04.
The Aussie Dollar sell-off was again short-lived.
As the virus got over peak levels, risk-averse investors returned to the Australian Dollar.
The main lesson from history is that big global events tend to cause a sudden sell-off in the Australian Dollar, given its sensitivity to commodity prices.
However, these sell-offs can be short-lived opportunities to take advantage of an extreme rate move.
For anyone moving money, no matter what the currency, taking a pro-active approach may save you a lot of money.
A currency broker can monitor GBP to AUD rate fluctuations and work with you to achieve a more optimal rate.
Can you rely on GBP to AUD forecasts?
I don't trust exchange rate forecasts.
That probably sounds a little odd from a guy who works in the foreign exchange industry.
But if you work in finance, there are two ways to go...
You can bamboozle customers with a load of technical jargon and hope they buy into how clever you sound, or you can tell them the truth and hope they respect you for it.
I would rather say it how it is. I haven’t met anyone that can accurately forecast exchange rates.
I don’t care who they work for or how many letters they have after their name – they can’t see into the future.
No one has a crystal ball.
I understand why people search for forecasts.
If you’re sending money abroad, you want to know if it’s the right time to exchange your money.
In fact, according to Google, there are 3,600 people search for a GBP to AUD forecast every month.
But the forecasts you see online aren’t backed up by a track record or even a transparent methodology.
Most forecasters are just extrapolating current rates and trends.
They have no idea if a big event is around the corner.
They’re making an educated guess. But that’s different from a rigorous and reliable forecast.
Logically, if someone could predict exchange rates, they would be trading foreign exchange and making a fortune, not posting their forecasts online.
My advice is to trust what you see.
You can get some perspective by looking at the current trend in the GBP to AUD rate, and by looking at the recent highs and lows.
If you want a second opinion, speak to a currency broker who can help structure a plan and discuss realistic levels to aim for.
Getting the best GBP to AUD rate
While I’m not a fan of forecasts, I would never suggest accepting whatever GBP to AUD rate you come across.
Exchange rates are really just a price – the price of one currency against another.
And you should always aim to get the best price possible.
As currency brokers, we watch exchange rates very closely.
It’s a key part of what we do.
We want to help our clients get the best rates possible.
In currency markets, trends and trading ranges are frequently observable events, particularly if you are watching the screens all day.
While some of the moves can be explained by the news and events, most of the time, the daily fluctuations are just the result of investor speculation.
Investor speculation accounts for more than 80% of all foreign exchange trades.
The trading activity of speculators creates a natural ebb and flow in rates - which can be turned to your advantage.
Most clients have a window of time in which to carry out their transfer.
It could be a few days, a few weeks, or even months and years.
In that time, there will be opportunities (and risks) as rates fluctuate.
When converting GBP to AUD, even tiny movements in the rate can have a significant impact on the cost of your transfer.
As an example, say you were looking to send £50,000 to Australia.
Even by achieving a 1% improvement in the GBP to AUD rate, it would mean gaining an extra £500.
Swings in the rate of that size can happen every day.
Over the course of several weeks, you can see swings of 3%, 4% or even 5%.
That’s when bad timing can cost you thousands.
I appreciate that most people are not in a position to watch exchange rates all day. Most customers have neither the time nor the inclination.
It's why you might find it useful to use a currency broker.
As part of their job, they are closely monitoring rates throughout the day.
They can alert you if the GBP to AUD rate hits a certain level.
If you check the rate once every few days, you may have missed a big move.
A currency broker can work with you to discuss and agree on the right time to exchange your money.
The banks certainly won’t help you with this.
And the online-only operators, such as PayPal, Transferwise, FairFX and Revolut, give you their current rate and leave you to do the rest.
It depends on your situation.
If you are an online merchant making lots of small, frequent payments or sending a relative a small sum every month, the online platforms might be preferable.
If however, you are transferring a larger amount (where costs and timing are more critical), then a currency broker may be the best option for you.
Who are we?
Key Currency is an independent currency broker.
We offer clients a pro-active service with the aim of achieving better rates.
And unlike banks and other providers, we add on any fees.
We make our money from a small mark-up on wholesale exchange rates.
Because we have far lower overheads than the big banks, it enables us to offer highly competitive rates that save customers money.
Our service is also an important part of what we offer.
All our customers have access to an account manager – yes, a real person.
Your account manager can provide guidance on rates, help set up the payment details (to avoid any mistakes) and keep you in the loop from start to finish.
Good service is becoming increasingly rare.
Most places these days make you do everything yourself online. But is that what the customers want? Not in my experience.
A lot of people aren’t comfortable sending large amounts of money via an online system or app.
At Key Currency, we give you great rates and a genuine service.
We have attained a 5-Star “excellent” rating on the customer review website Trustpilot, the highest rating available.
As a company, we are open and transparent - the names and faces of all our people on our website.
From a regulatory perspective, Key Currency is an FCA Authorised Payment Institution (No. 753989), and as such, all money transfers are conducted through safeguarded client accounts.
Why not compare our GBP to AUD rates to your bank or existing provider.