GUEST BLOG: The foreign exchange market – navigating the murky waters

Economy | Wed 22 Jul | Author – Business & Finance
foreign markets

By Matt Richardson, founder and managing director, betterFX

As current press coverage amply demonstrates, the foreign exchange market can be a treacherous place.

With the value of Irish imports having tripled since 1990 from €16 to €54bn, and exports having risen five fold from €18 to €90bn, the significance of properly managing foreign exchange transactions has never been greater.

The many international firms located in Ireland create further foreign exchange flows as funds need to be moved between parent and subsidiary to fund investments and day-to-day operations, or repatriate revenues.

As businesses in Ireland, and indeed all around the world, become ever more global in their quest to reach new markets or find new suppliers, this trend of an ever-growing foreign exchange market is sure to continue.

As the size of the market grows, so too does the number of players in it.

The endless stream of start-ups seeking to feed off the crumbs from the banks’ table does provide some welcome choice and competition, but now means there is a confusing array of banks and independent foreign exchange firms to choose from, and some are more scrupulous than others.

I founded a new business, betterFX, to guide firms (and even individuals) safely through the treacherous and murky waters of the foreign exchange market.


What betterFX does is help clients secure the best deal and service, which they would almost certainly not be able to acquire just by themselves. betterFX has no single income model. Some clients pay a conventional consulting fee, some a percentage of what they save and, in some cases, nothing at all.

In previous roles at major banks, and foreign exchange firms, my first obligation was to the shareholders of my employers – and that did not necessarily mean getting the best possible deal for the client.

Using deep and broad inside knowledge of the FX market around the world, better FX matches the client with the best provider for them, and negotiates a price that the client would be highly unlikely to achieve themselves.

In my experience of working with hundreds, maybe thousands, of clients over the years I would say that 95% or more could have got a better deal, service or both if they just knew how. It may seem like a bold claim, but now, no one need ever get ripped off with their foreign exchange transactions ever again.

What is also rare about betterFX is that, whilst it focuses on serving larger companies, small companies and even private individuals are also welcome to benefit from the service.

Matt RichardsonAbout the blogger

Matt Richardson has spent his career in FX at JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Travelex, and in that time worked in and with all aspects of the FX market.

This included developing foreign exchange products and platforms, running FX sales teams, and advising other banks how to improve their client offerings.

Matt’s career in foreign exchange has spanned Europe, Middle East/Africa, Asia and the US.

For more information, email Matt or visit Matt’s LinkedIn account.