“We love the personalised service and the excellent exchange rates” – 9 questions and answers with Mark Bone, Managing Director of George Lines, on why they left their bank of 60 years to join us.
George Lines Limited is a UK company that has been with us at Eiger FX for 4 years. The company came to us for foreign exchange and international payment needs after a period of 60 years with their bank.
In 2015 the company’s turnover was £12 million and they have large clients such as Heathrow Airport.
With us, George Lines has saved approximately £30,000 in 4 years on exchange rates. Add to that additional bank fees and slow payments and the difference is substantially more in capital and supply chain efficiency.
Since Mark Bone and his company became our client, Head of Dealing Samuel Garnett has managed their account along with our middle office team. Sam works closely with the company’s financial controller to ensure that their exposure to foreign currencies is protected and that fluctuation is kept in check.
Mark Bone, Managing Director of George Lines sat down with us to discuss their currency needs and why they choose Eiger FX as their currency and international payments provider.
1. Can you tell us about your company?
We’re a family-run business based in Slough, Berkshire. The company was founded in 1949 to meet a growing need at the time for pre-cast concrete civil engineering products. Today our product line is much broader, made up of materials for drainage, landscaping and paving, to name a few areas.
Our clients are primarily in the UK, though we have purchase requirements in other countries, notably Sweden, Belgium and Germany.
2. What are your currency needs?
Our functional currency is obviously sterling as we’re a UK company. We have the aforementioned dealings in Sweden, Germany and Belgium, and so we have ongoing exposure to the Swedish krona (SEK) and the euro (EUR) in particular. We have EUR 250,000 and SEK 450,000, but we are experiencing rapid year-on-year growth. Our exposure is therefore growing too.
Our dealer at Eiger FX, Sam, helps us in our hedging strategy – percentage to hedge and the type of forward contract we use, whether it’s open or closed and the length of time.
As we are constantly exposed to the two currencies, we need to keep rate fluctuation under control or we can take a hit – which is one of the reasons why we left our bank.
FX Experiences Past and Present
3. What are your complaints about the FX service you received from your bank?
Well one of the main reasons why we are with Eiger is because we place particular value on their approach – it’s personalised and the team is knowledgeable and experienced.
My main gripe with our bank was that every time we needed to process a transaction it was a different person with no knowledge of our business or needs and they didn’t care – we were just another transaction to be processed for whoever we spoke to, and we were a customer of 60 years.
The rates were poor – we were essentially paying more for a worse service and sometimes we would have to wait 4 or 5 days for the transaction to go through which obviously impacted our supply chain.
4. Can you remember your single worst experience?
I can’t think of an isolated incident off the top of my head but in general the biggest gripe was the exchange rate on Swedish krona. The bank took a big spread on each trade claiming that it was the going market rate, which we now know isn’t true. Slow payments were constantly a pain.
5. What is your experience with Eiger FX?
We are very happy with Eiger. Sam and his team know what we need and how our business works. The guys are approachable and it’s obvious they know their stuff and how to analyse our needs. What else – fast payments and brilliant rates that have saved us more than a few quid!
6. What is the main thing you like about what Eiger FX provides?
For me service is always king – I really value good service and if I feel like we are not being taken care of, I will look elsewhere. It’s why we left our bank for our FX and why we have stayed with Eiger since coming aboard 4 years ago.
Eiger consistently takes the time needed to ensure we’re in the best position we can be in. Sam always gets back to us promptly, he gives us updates on the market and he’s particularly timely with anything that might upset the apple cart.
7. Would you recommend us to another company?
I already have, and I will continue to do so. Like I said, it’s difficult to find a company that provides a consistently good service and really does have your best interests at heart even though they say they do.
8. Do you anticipate any changes to your FX exposure and needs in future?
We are growing at a fast rate and our exposure will definitely grow with it. But in principle, this will continue in EUR and SEK.
There might be the odd supply need from another country outside the UK and the Eurozone. Though in the main we are always looking for bespoke concrete furniture suppliers within the UK.
9. And finally, what would you say to a company considering Eiger FX as their FX and international payments provider?
First of all, benchmarking is so important. I wish we had have looked elsewhere before we did join move on from our bank. I would advise any company to shop around before making a final decision, comparing against your bank and brokers.
My financial controller and I are completely satisfied with Eiger. Very happy.
If you value a personal, informed service from a friendly, approachable team, and excellent terms on rates and speed of funds delivery, definitely consider Eiger.
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