Below you will find out the highs, lows & averages of the Pound to Euro rate, its full history, why you can't trust forecasts, and how to achieve the best rate possible.
I've put together this page to help give you a full understanding of GBP to Euro.
Highest pound to euro rate ever
The Pound reached an all-time high of €1.752 against the Euro on 3rd May 2000. Following the Euro's launch in 1999, it performed poorly relative to the Pound as investors had concerns about whether it would be a short-lived experiment.
Lowest pound to euro rate ever
The weakest the Pound has been compared to the Euro was €1.02 on 30th December 2008. This was during the global financial crisis at which point the UK banking system was fragile and required government support to stave off collapse.
How strong is the pound against the euro?
The Pound to Euro rate has averaged €1.33 over its full 20-year history. At current levels, the pound is therefore weak against the euro as it sits well below the average rate.
Over the past decade, the Pound has traded at lower levels than the decade before.
In the past 10 years, the average Pound to Euro rate has been €1.20.
Even based on the most recent decade, the pound is weak relative to the euro.
Brexit effect on GBP to Euro
Following the Brexit referendum result, the Pound dropped sharply in value against the Euro.
In the 4 months following the Brexit referendum, the Pound fell 16% against the Euro - including a 6% drop on the day of the result.
The large fall was due to the uncertainty it created for business, travel, emigration, trade, the legal system etc.
While the 'shock value' has worn off, the Pound is still in the process of recovering.
For the last few years, Pounds to Euro has spent the majority of time in a range between €1.10 – €1.20.
The current GBP to Euro rate is still well below the €1.30 level it was the day before the Brexit referendum.
Highest euro rate since Brexit
The Pound reached a post-Brexit high of £1 buys €1.2046 on 18th February 2020 (just before the outbreak of Coronavirus).
Lowest euro rate since Brexit
The Pound fell to a post-Brexit low of £1 buys €1.077 on 12th August 2019.
Why Pound to Euro rates are often 'fake'
You can easily get a Pound to Euro rate off the internet these days.
I do it myself.
Even Google automatically shows you a rate.
It's good enough for what most people need. They just want a rough idea of what their Pounds are worth in Euros.
But here's the problem...
The Pound to Euro rates that are readily available online are not customer rates.
Not many people know that.
If you dig a little deeper, there are websites like XE, FX Street, Oanda and Daily FX, that will offer you live Pound to Euro rates to 5 decimal places. They also have pretty cool charts and news feeds.
But what you are really seeing is something called 'interbank rates'.
Interbank rates are the rates that big banks use to trade between each other.
Even large corporations and currency brokers can't buy and sell currencies at interbank rates.
If you need to convert Pounds to Euros in the real world, then I would suggest getting a quote from a bank or a currency broker.
Using a real Pound to Euro exchange rate will allow you to better plan your future and budget more effectively.
If you would like a genuine rate of exchange, you can get a free quote below.
Pound to Euro graph (with the ups and downs explained)
Pound vs Euro - its 20-year history in a nutshell
- The Pound v Euro rate started out in 1999 at just above the €1.40 level.
- For its first few years, the Euro suffered teething problems.
- Within a year of the Euros launch, the Pound shot above €1.75 to an all-time high.
- By 2003, the Pound was back to around €1.40 as the Euro became established as a currency.
- From 2003-2007, the GBP to EUR rate stabilised at around €1.40 – €1.50.
- During the global financial crisis of 2007/8, the Pound nosedived as the UK’s banking system headed for collapse.
- In late 2008, the Pound hit an all-time low of €1.02.
- From 2013-2015, the Euro crumbled as debt problems emerged with the ‘PIGS’ (Portugal, Greece, Spain & Italy).
- In February 2016, the Brexit referendum was announced. The Pound began another steep descent.
- On the day of the 'shock' result in June 2016, the Pound suffered its biggest ever one-day fall against the Euro of 6.02%.
- Since the Brexit vote, the Pound has been clawing its way back up (until Coronavirus).
Can you trust Pound to Euro forecasts? (Hint: No)
I’m just going to come out and say it: I don't trust exchange rate forecasts.
I don't believe in the tooth fairy or the easter bunny either.
Nor do I believe in Father Christmas (although I still want to).
I understand why forecasts exist: people naturally want to know what the future holds.
But when I have searched for Pound to Euro forecasts on the internet, I have found a bunch of rubbish.
The methodology used (if there is one) is highly questionable.
Most of the time it is a simple extrapolation of the current rate with a tweak here and there.
Now there is such a thing as 'forward exchange rates'.
As a currency broker, we can secure forward rates for our clients - enabling them to lock-in a rate ahead of their transaction.
But they are not the same thing as a forecast.
A forward rate just takes into account the interest rate differential between two currencies. It is a mathematical formula.
However, it doesn't take into account future news and events, such as Brexit or Coronavirus (how could it?).
As news unfolds, it will alter the course of the current (spot) rates and forward rates together.
History teaches us that big events trigger big moves in exchange rates.
Clearly, these events aren't embedded in forecasts (until Harry Hindsight tells you after the fact).
I have yet to find anyone with a crystal ball, magic wand, or secret spell that can predict exchange rates in the future.
There are just too many moving parts in currency markets to make a computer model remotely accurate.
If someone could predict the future, the last thing on Earth they would do is post the information on the internet.
They would be making billions trading foreign exchange themselves.
It's like believing someone can predict next week's winning lottery numbers. But rather than buy a ticket, they decide to write an online blog.
It's fantasy land.
Don't shoot the messenger please. I come in peace.
How to get the best Pound to Euro exchange rate
While I am sceptical about forecasts (particularly long-dated ones), I don't think you should just ignore exchange rate fluctuations.
As a currency broker, we watch rates very closely.
The reason is markets are made up of humans. And humans tend to overreact on the way up and the way down.
Peaks and troughs in the Pound to Euro exchange rate are a frequent event.
Part of our job is to try and help our clients take advantage of favourable moves, whether you are a buyer or a seller.
There are always patterns and trends that develop.
While some of the moves in the Pound to Euro rate can be explained by the news, a lot of the time, the daily and weekly fluctuations are the results of investor speculation.
Speculation accounts for more than 80% of all foreign exchange.
Given the erratic nature of exchange rates, I would always advise paying attention to the rate and trying to optimise the timing of your transfer.
If you need to convert Pounds to Euros, you can achieve a better rate by staying alert to opportunities.
Sometimes even small movements in the rate can have a big impact on the money you receive.
On a large transfer of say £80,000, if you exchanged your money after a 1% fall in the GBP to Euro rate, it would mean losing £800.
Moves of that magnitude happen all the time - sometimes a lot more.
It's why you might find it useful to speak to a currency broker who is watching rates continuously throughout the day.
Unless you are glued to the screens all day, you could easily miss a good rate.
Sometimes when people convert Pounds to Euros, they have a window of time in which they can exchange their money.
It could be a few days, a week or sometimes even months.
During this time, there will be ups, downs and everything in between.
It might be to your advantage to have someone monitor the rate for you.
A currency broker can work with you to optimise the Pound to Euro exchange rate you achieve.
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