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Pounds to dollars

The dollar to pound exchange rate is often referred to as “Cable”. This is in reference to the cable laid under the Atlantic Ocean in 1858 between London and New York exchanges, which enabled messages with currency prices to be transmitted. The first such rate to be published was in The Times on 10 August 1866.

The dollar to pound currency exchange rates have fluctuated vastly over time. One pound could buy you more than five dollars in 1934... but then we almost saw parity in 1985, when one pound was equal to $1.05.

On average the total amount of foreign exchange traded on a daily basis is about $5.3 trillion, of which the dollar accounts for 87%, so roughly $4.61 trillion every day.

Some trivia? The dollar banknote itself isn’t actually made of paper... it’s a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibres running through (which is why dollar notes don’t come apart when you wash them in your pocket).

The name 'dollar' is very diffuse amongst currencies today too, and is used in 29 countries around the world. There are even Antarctican dollars, although these are not legal tender anywhere (not even in Antarctica).

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These are indicative 'interbank' rates. Find out more.
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What is an interbank rate?

Interbank rates are the wholesale rates at which banks (and only banks) buy and sell currency between each other. Interbank provides the best indication on how a currency pair is performing.

People and businesses – whoever they exchange with – will have their money exchanged at a ‘commercial’ exchange rate.

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Check out an example, based on transferring £100,000 into euros

Currencies Direct Average bank
Rate 1.1763 1.1427
Fee £0.00 £35.00
You receive €117,630 €114,270
*Fees and exchange rate data for banks taken from the International money transfer index™ (imti™)

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