Yesterday it was physical lines as people ‘queued’ for hours to exchange their pounds sterling for anything else.
Perhaps more should have done the same and exchanged their far more valuable – yesterday – pounds sterling, than waiting until today’s historic devaluation.
Not only that, but they may not be able to do it today. As The FT reports UK-based travel group Thomas Cook hassuspended its online currency purchases and imposed a £1000 limit on transactions at its high street branches due to an unforseen demand for euros, a soft form of capital controls as FX service providers run out of “harder” currencies.
Having alreay warned yesterday that…
“There’s been a surge in customers buying euros in the last six weeks and euro sales have been consistently strong, building day by day.”
… The leading money-changer’s statement added today:
We have temporarily suspended our travel money website following unprecedented customer demand for foreign currency overnight and this morning.
We apologise to all customers affected.
Our immediate priority is to ensure that we have enough currency in store to fulfill outstanding orders.
We hope to be back up and running as soon as possible.
Is this the beginning of more than just “soft” capital controls?