How is the GBP exchange rate impacting your business?
Thread poster: David Howard

David Howard  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:16
French to English
+ ...
Jan 17

Hi all,

As a French/Spanish to English translator, most of my clients pay me in EUR. I'm certainly not complaining about the fall in the value of sterling, but I am curious as to how businesses (freelancers and agencies) are responding.

Are UK-based agencies having to increase prices to pay European suppliers/freelancers?
Are freelancers sticking to their current rates to take advantage of the c20% rise?
Are people lowering their rates to be more competitive?

How do you think this will affect the industry in this part of the world and beyond?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Not at all Jan 17

Although I have just had a bit of a fight with my last remaining agency customer in Sweden who objected to me raising my price in GBP so that I cost the same in SEK as before.

Somehow they seem to think they should be benefiting from the fall in the pound, not me.

Think again, my friends.

I suspect that their other UK translators have been too timid to raise their rates, leaving me somewhat high and dry. Oh well.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:16
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Positively Jan 17

It's affecting me positively at the moment because many of my clients are in the Eurozone and I invoice them in euros. Exchange rates change all the time and always have so the present situation is probably only temporary.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Roy OConnor
Local time: 14:16
Member (2009)
German to English
Both good and bad Jan 17

Chris S wrote:

Although I have just had a bit of a fight with my last remaining agency customer in Sweden who objected to me raising my price in GBP so that I cost the same in SEK as before.

If you have plenty of work, no doubt you can take advantage and raise your GBP prices. In language pairs where there is a lot of competition those who hold their GBP prices will win in the long term though if the situation is prolonged.

The fall of the pound is more worrying for those who live/work in Euroland and receive a UK pension or other regular sterling-based income.

Roy


Direct link Reply with quote
 
sailingshoes
Local time: 14:16
Spanish to English
For now... Jan 17

...there's not too much impact, although there was a certain amount of downward pressure on prices just after Brexit. (I live in the Eurozone but half or more of my income comes from agencies in the UK.)

Bar the present dip, post-Brexit FX rates basically brought sterling back near the average rates between 2008 and 2013, before the EU started quantitative easing. Since UK operators weren't rushing to increase my rates in the 2014-2016 period, I don't see why I should lower mine now, although obviously in the long run costing more won't help me to be competitive.

What would be nice right now is some US$ work!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
sailingshoes
Local time: 14:16
Spanish to English
And then... Jan 17

...for agencies it depends on how many contracts with customers they have in the respective currencies. A London agency probably has the the bulk of its clients paying in GBP and has higher costs when buying services from the Euro area, but will also be able to put in more competitive bids for contracts in the EU from now on. I work for one small UK agency that works only with Eurozone clients. For obvious reasons, it will gain even if it has to pay more to its translators in the Eurrozone, although for obvious reasons it might try shift some of its needs to thsoe selling services in GBP.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:16
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Always local currency Jan 17

Roy OConnor wrote:
Although I have just had a bit of a fight with my last remaining agency customer in Sweden who objected to me raising my price in GBP so that I cost the same in SEK as before.

This makes me think that it is always best to invoice each customer in their currency, so that there is no complaint about exchange rates or change of currency during the relationship. Differences in exchange rate would thus become our problem and we are totally free to find a solution to manage them without any discomfort on the part of our customers.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2011)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Never local currency Jan 17

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Always local currency

This makes me think that it is always best to invoice each customer in their currency, so that there is no complaint about exchange rates or change of currency during the relationship. Differences in exchange rate would thus become our problem and we are totally free to find a solution to manage them without any discomfort on the part of our customers.


Not for me.

Our customers are much bigger businesses than we are, and in a much better position to absorb movements in exchange rates.

I've never billed in anything other than GBP in a 25-year career, and with barely a customer in the UK for most of that period.

I'm a firm believer in making everything somebody else's problem.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tim Friese  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:16
Member (2013)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Negatively Jan 17

I work in the US and invoice most of my clients in USD, but have some in EUR or GBP. Since the massive fall in the pound, I renegotiated my rate with one UK client to raise it by around 30%. I'm sure this leaves me much more expensive than translators in the UK or continental Europe, but I need them to pay approximately the same as my US clients who pay in USD.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

David Howard  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:16
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Spread the risk Jan 18

Some interesting and varied strategies.

I currently get paid in a combination of EUR and GBP but currently take more work paid in EUR (naturally). If there's a reversal of any kind, I can then take more work in GBP.

I wonder how UK-based agencies are tackling the effective increase in rates (if they pay in EUR or USD and get paid in GBP).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Positively so far? Jan 18

I'm based in Spain and so are my clients, so my earnings are in euros. When I went back to the UK this year at Christmas, I got a slightly better exchange rate than the previous year, around 10% more. Other than that, I don't see it affecting things much for me.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Texte Style
Local time: 14:16
French to English
Not affecting my business Jan 19

In my project manager days, I remember a UK-based translator quoting me in pounds for an urgent job and when I worked it out in euros it came to less than what her previously negotiated normal rate would have been, because of currency fluctuation. She was pretty peeved when she realised she could have billed a fair bit more. It served as a lesson to me to check the exchange rate before quoting to foreign customers, but I don't actually have any: I'm only paid in euros and I'm in the eurozone so no problem.

Our son studying in Scotland is enjoying getting a bit more money though.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:16
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No impact whatsoever Jan 19

Almost all my clients are in the Eurozone and I only charge in €.

P.S. Work from my only client in the UK is sporadic and tends to come in July/August.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jean-Christophe Duc  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:16
English to French
+ ...
A pound of flesh Jan 19

I have about a 1/3 of my income billed in GBP (i.e. GPB -> EUR), so the fall in the pound is not good for me, as it comes on the back of the similar fall after the 2008 crisis, when it took nearly 4 years for the £ to come back to a nearly pre-crisis level.
Currently, the exchange rate changes all the time as nobody knows what will happen next (i.e. in the next 4 to 10 years.), or indeed, if the euro will survive at all!
Therefore, the key for us little players is to group invoices as much as possible, so that we can issue them when the £ is going up.
Some UK agencies work in euros, usually the larger ones. Not sure what impact the Brexit will have on this?


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

How is the GBP exchange rate impacting your business?

Advanced search







memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search