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 a better rate.
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.
What is the average pound to euro rate?
The Pound to Euro rate has averaged €1.33 over its full 20-year history.
Therefore at current levels, the Pound sits well below the average rate since inception.
Over the past decade, the Pound has traded at much lower levels than the decade before.
In the past 10 years, the average GBP/EUR rate has been €1.20.
Brexit effect on Pound 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 online 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 now (it is sourced from Morningstar - a US financial company).
And there's also a tonne of websites like XE, FX Street, Oanda and Daily FX, that also offer Pound to Euro rates to 5 decimal places.
They also provide currency converters, good charts and live news feeds.
All good so far.
But here's the problem...
The Pound to Euro rates that are readily shown online are not customer rates.
What you are actually seeing is something called an 'interbank rate'.
As the name implies, an interbank rate is a rate used by a bank to trade with another bank.
I guess you could think of it as a wholesale rate.
In reality, it is not applicable to the person in the street.
Even large corporations and money transfer companies, who buy and sell currencies in huge volumes, don't trade at interbank rates.
Now if you just want a rough idea of the GBP/EUR rate, then by all means, use interbank rates as a yardstick.
That's fine for a back-of-the-envelope calculation.
However, if you actually want to exchange Pounds into Euros, interbank rates are misleading.
Some of the websites that show these rates are using them as a hook to lure in customers.
But when you go to change your money, you get a different rate.
If you need to convert Pounds to Euros in the real world, then I would suggest getting a genuine quote from a bank or a money transfer specialist.
Using a real Pound to Euro exchange rate will allow you to budget more effectively and avoid any unexpected shocks later on.
We are happy to provide a genuine GBP to Euro rate quote below.
You will be under no obligation to transact with us.
Pound to Euro graph (with the ups and downs explained)
Pound to Euro - its 20-year history in a nutshell
- The GBP/EUR rate started out in 1999 at just above the €1.40 level.
- For its first few years, there were doubts over the Euro's credibility. The Pound gained in value relative to the Euro.
- Within a year of the Euros launch, the value of 1 Pound shot up to €1.752 - which remains the all-time high.
- By 2003, the Pound was back down to the launch rate of €1.40 as the Euro became firmly established as a currency.
- From 2003-2007, the GBP to EUR rate stabilised at around €1.40 – €1.50. A rare period of stability.
- During the global financial crisis of 2007/8, the Pound nosedived as the UK government provided £500 billion in support to prevent a collapse of the British banking system.
- In late December 2008, the Pound hit an all-time low of €1.02.
- From 2013-2015, the Euro was under attack as debt problems emerged with the ‘PIGS’ (Portugal, Greece, Spain & Italy). The future viability of the EU was questioned.
- In February 2016, the Brexit referendum was announced. The Pound began a 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 had been clawing its way back up against the Euro (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.
For the sake of full disclosure: 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).
Don't get me wrong; I understand why forecasts exist.
People naturally want to know what the future holds...me included.
But that doesn't mean someone or something can somehow come up with a reliable answer.
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.
I've worked in finance for over 20 years.
I know that whatever I say won't change the fact that people crave certainty.
But as my old boss would say "to the left is history, to the right is mystery".
I have yet to find anyone with a crystal ball, magic wand, or secret potion 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.
Why GBP to Euro forward rates can be useful
Forgive my use of jargon.
I am a believer in plain English.
But there is such a thing as forward exchange rates.
These are not the same thing as a forecast.
A forward rate takes into account the interest rate difference between two currencies.
It is a mathematical formula, not a prediction.
Because the EU and the UK have slightly different interest rates, the current rate (spot) is different from the future rate (forward).
However, forward rates don't take into account future news and events, such as Brexit or Coronavirus (how could they?).
A forward rate can be useful if a customer wants to lock-in an exchange rate now for a transaction in the future.
Say you have bought a house in France and the settlement isn't for a few months.
In that time, you will be exposed to fluctuations in the GBP/EUR rate.
If you wanted to fix the cost of your French property in Pounds, so you don't have to fret over the moves in the rate, you could secure a forward exchange rate.
When it came time to complete your purchase, you would know your exchange rate already.
It takes the exchange rate risk away.
As a money transfer specialist, we can secure forward rates for our clients - enabling you to lock-in a GBP to Euro rate ahead of your transaction.
Getting the best Pound to Euro exchange rate
While I am sceptical about predicting the future, I'm not suggesting you should ignore exchange rate fluctuations.
The exchange rate you achieve is important.
Even small movements in the exchange rate can have a big impact on the Euros you receive.
In fact, a lot of people underestimate the effect of the rate.
Here's a quick example to bring it to life...
Say you need to transfer £75,000 into Euros.
One morning, a bit of bad economic news comes out, and the Pound drops 1% against the Euro.
That 1% fall just cost you an extra £750.
Moves of that size happen all the time - sometimes daily.
In fact, over several weeks you can see accumulated moves of 3%, 4% or even 5%.
The gyrations in the rate start to magnify into serious money.
It's why you might find it useful to speak to someone who is watching rates continuously throughout the day.
As a money transfer specialist, we watch rates very closely.
It's a key part of our job.
We try and help our clients take advantage of favourable moves.
Unless you are glued to the screens all day, you could easily miss a good rate or be unaware of upcoming events.
Peaks and troughs in the GBP/EUR exchange rate are a frequent event.
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.
You should think of speculation (fear and greed) as an opportunity to get a better rate.
I appreciate that foreign exchange is an unfamiliar world to most people.
Which is why getting some guidance on exchange rates can help take away 'rate anxiety'.
Most people have a window of time in which they can carry out their transfer.
It could be a few days, weeks or even months.
During this time, there will be ups, downs and everything in between.
It can be an advantage to have someone monitor the rate on your behalf and let you know when the rates moves in your favour.
That's a fundamental difference in the way we operate.
Key Currency can work with you to achieve a better Pound to Euro exchange rate.
A bank or online platform obviously won't offer that kind of service.
They just give you access to a platform and leave you to do everything yourself.
We will tailor our service to optimise your position and execute your trades to your best advantage.
Who are we?
Key Currency is an independent money transfer specialist.
We provide our customers with highly competitive exchange rates and don't charge any fees.
The cost of our service is included within the exchange rate we quote.
You let us know how much you need to exchange, we let you know what that gets you in return.
There are no fees or hidden charges to worry about.
It keeps things simple.
As a company, we are open and transparent.
We don't hide behind a logo or 'app'.
The names, faces, and backgrounds of our team of people are shown on our website.
We have gained a 5-star rating on the customer review website Trustpilot, based on over 600 reviews.
We’re committed to providing a service of the highest integrity and safety.
Key Currency is an FCA regulated Authorised Payment Institution (No. 753989), and as such, all money transfers are conducted through safeguarded client accounts.
To compare our rates, just request a free quote.
You are under no obligation to trade with us.