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Holiday cash rush amid Brexit fears

Currency sales have risen sharply in the UK, as Britons dash to buy their holiday cash before the EU Referendum result is announced. 

The Post Office reported a 380% jump in online orders and said currency sales in branches are also up 48.8% on the same period a year ago amid concern over what could happen to the value of sterling. Overall, currency sales have risen by 74% year on year since the weekend, the Post Office said. 

Banks have warned that a Leave vote could cause the pound to lose up to 20% of its value. 

The pound is edging up as confidence grows in the financial sector that Britain will decide to remain a member of the EU today, but it is still well below the values it enjoyed last summer. In August 2015, £1 bought about €1.42; last week it was about €1.26. This morning, it was at €1.30. 

For the Post Office's latest conversion rates, click here 

There has also been a surge in the amount of money being loaded onto prepaid currency cards, which lock in currency values at their current rate. FairFX reported a 300% rise in cash being loaded onto dollar cards, and a 100% surge in euro card-loading. 

While holidaymakers have been keen to lockdown their currency purchases at pre-referendum rates, corporate currency sales slowed right down, FairFX said, amid business confidence of a remain vote leading to a rally in sterling's value. 

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