Sterling has weakened by almost 5% against the euro in the past month - and now looks set to break through the 90 pence per euro barrier for the first time since January.

It comes as uncertainty around Brexit increases - giving companies here a fresh headache in terms of their short term planning.

As recently as May, one euro was trading at 85 pence. But Irish business did little to take advantage of it.

"I think people were relieved that it came back to 85 after a fairly horrendous year last year - around 89-90p regularly," John Finn, managing director of Treasury Solutions, said.

"And I think they spent a lot of time planning for Brexit in terms of tariffs and customs. There was assumption that currency would stay around here. There was very little done in that space."


As the possibility of a hard Brexit looms, the British conservative party’s ongoing leadership battle is poised to create volatility in the short term.

"Uncertainty is never good for a currency," Mr Finn said. "And clearly, we don’t know who’s going to get in … whether we’re getting two hard Brexiteers, or somebody more moderate verses a hard Brexiteer."

Despite the immediate implications of the leadership changes, Mr Finn wants to keep the focus on the 31 October deadline. 

"The real problem is the probability of a hard Brexit has increased substantially," Mr Finn said. "They’re not ready in the UK. I was at a treasury conference there a few weeks ago. Twenty five percent of all the large companies there hadn’t even started planning. And I think we are not as well prepared here as we need to be either." 

Mr Finn also expressed concern about falling interest rates. 

"In the wider sense, the worry is that interest rates tend to ease back because the economic outlook is beginning to deteriorate," Mr Finn said. "They’re one of the first signals that things might be slowing down. My biggest worry, in a macro sense, is that [the lowering interest rates are] signaling a slow down globally." 

Echoing the IFAC’s recent report, Mr Finn urges fiscal prudence. 

"[Ireland] will only be in a position to start paying back debt in 2023," Mr Finn said. "If that was a business or if we ran our own personal finances like that, you would be concerned. I think we need to clamp down a little bit more." 

 "I think we’re forgetting things very quickly," Mr Finn said. "There’s complacency across the board. We just need to be a little more alert."