Sterling worth fifth less against nine major currencies in 2016


The pound lost at least a fifth of its value against nine significant currencies last year, according to analysis.

Research by Lloyds Private Banking into 60 currencies found the biggest declines in sterling were against the Brazilian real, with a 28.4% fall, the Russian rouble, with a 28% slide, and the Icelandic krona, with a 27.9% fall.

Last year's declines, followed a stronger year for the pound in 2015, when sterling gained against more than three-quarters of the currencies surveyed by Lloyds. Across 2016, the pound fell against 56 of the 60 currencies it analysed. 

The pound did make significant gains against two currencies last year, Lloyds said. These were the Egyptian pound, against which sterling rose by 105.8%, and the Mozambique metical, against which the pound increased by 23%.

Sterling also increased by 0.3% against the Turkish lira and remained unchanged against the Danish krone.

Lloyds said the performance of sterling in the six months before and the six months after June's Brexit vote followed a similar pattern.

Sterling declined in value against 54 out of the 60 currencies analysed in the six months leading up to the EU referendum, and fell in the six months after the referendum against 51 countries.

Peter Reid, expatriate banking director at Lloyds Private Banking, said: "The pound's decline is bad news for British holidaymakers, with most destinations becoming more expensive in 2016.

"Many British expats will also be feeling the pinch; those with incomes in sterling such as pensioners are getting fewer pounds when converting their money.

"However, on the other end of the bargain, British expats living and working abroad and earning in foreign currencies are now getting more pounds for their money and they are seeing their spending power surge when they head back to the UK."

Here are the 10 currencies with the largest rises against the UK pound between December 2015 and December 2016, according to research from Lloyds Private Banking, with the one-year change in the buying power of the pound:

1. Brazil, real, minus 28.4%

2. Russia, rouble, minus 28%

3. Iceland, krona, minus 27.9%

4. Colombia, peso, minus 25.8%

5. Zambia, kwacha, minus 25.6%

6. South Africa, rand, minus 22.6%

7. Solomon Islands, minus 20.4%

8. Canada, dollar, minus 20.1%

9. Indonesia, rupiah, minus 20%

10. Western Samoa, tala, minus 19.5%