Britain Remains Open Amidst Turmoil In Global Markets

20 Mar 2020, 50 mins ago

As global fears rise against the fast-spreading reach of COVID-19 we have seen countries close their borders and healthcare systems pushed to their limits.

Perhaps the most significant repercussion of the Corona virus hysteria, is its impact on financial markets around the world.

Sterling has plunged to its lowest levels against the US dollar since 1985 following a progressive drop over seven consecutive days.  The Financial Times attributes part of this decline to companies jostling to accumulate US dollars as a buffer in order to survive the pandemic.

Europe’s decision to follow in the lead of the US and close its borders has further exacerbated the markets and has sent investors rushing to buy US dollar, which is generally considered a ‘safe’ investment.

In the midst of a global pandemic, Sterling has lost more than 8 per cent against both the US dollar and the Euro in just one month. Despite the introduction of lower interest rates and a £330bn financial rescue package from the UK Government, it seems that Sterling’s value continues to remain suppressed.

“Everyone thought that Brexit was the big deal for Sterling this year but… the currency has been completely overwhelmed by the coronavirus”, Richard Benson, co-chief investment officer at Millennium Global Investments Ltd tells the Financial Times.

So, where is the silver lining?

Britain’s borders remain open amid the chaos of COVID-19, and where many other countries have imposed travel restrictions and have stopped the issue of visas, the UK continues to welcome investors, entrepreneurs and skilled migrants.

Analysts at UBS predict that Sterling will inevitably pick up pace as the UK economy recovers. It is suggested that Sterling’s ranking against the US dollar and Euro will again rise as the panic surrounding COVID-19 decreases and the global economy stabilises.

Therefore, in the current environment where the position of Sterling within the global market is favourable to foreign investors, and where many countries have shut themselves off to emigration, the Tier 1 Investor route looks increasingly appealing to individuals wanting to relocate to the UK.

The Tier 1 Investor route allows high-net worth individuals to relocate to the UK, together with their families, for a minimum investment of £2 million. This route leads to permanent residence in the UK for the main applicant as well as their dependants.

Gherson has extensive experience in Tier 1 Investor visa applications and we would be happy to provide further clarification on the processes and requirements to obtain this visa. If you would like any further information on this route, or any other immigration category, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Please note that the information on this blog is current at the date and time of posting. The situation regarding financial markets and the valuation of currencies may change. Please note that Gherson is not authorised to provide specific investment advice, however we are able to connect you with specialists within this area if need be.

Please note that some visa application centres have been temporarily closed around the world due to an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Gherson are closely monitoring this and are able to advise accordingly. We are happy to assist with the preparation and compilation of your visa application to ensure that there is no undue delay in the submission process once visa application centres re-open.


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2020


Navka Raja 

  Navka Raja

  Immigration Consultant and Trainee Solicitor in our Private Client department