With the stock market plunging to a record low, many British businesses are now wondering whether they will ever be able to make a profit.
But what if you can’t sell your shares for foreign exchange and you can?
That’s exactly what’s happening to some of the biggest foreign currency dealers in Britain.
A number of big foreign exchange brokers have announced that they will close their doors and leave Britain for the US, including: Aeropostale UK, which has a portfolio of around £2.8bn, said that it would be closing its doors for good next week.
The brokerage said it had been forced to make the decision due to the financial crisis and the high level of volatility in the markets.
“Aeroplanes, airlines and other major companies that trade with us have been the target of a series of market manipulation schemes, which have caused us to lose money and have taken our customers’ money out of the business,” the company said.
“We will not be able for a time to carry on doing business as we have not been able to generate a sufficient volume of revenue to cover our costs.”
AEROPOSTALE UK, which has a stake in several airlines and has a turnover of around $2bn, was forced to close its doors in December 2016.
Last year, it sold its stake in British Airways to American Airlines for $1.7bn and its stake has since grown to $5.6bn.
In 2016, Aeropostal was one of the main foreign exchange investors in British retail, with a shareholding of about $1bn.
Last month, it announced that it had sold its entire foreign exchange business to a company called US Global Investors, a US company owned by the US hedge fund Blackstone.
The firm is a subsidiary of a company which was listed in 2011 on the New York Stock Exchange.
US Global is controlled by James Packer, a former billionaire who has made a fortune from oil and energy investments.
Its stock is currently trading at around $26.50.
Banks, hedge funds, mutual funds and asset managers have also said that they are interested in acquiring Aeroposter.
The sale of Aeropoints shares has sparked a furious reaction in the banking world.
“I’m a customer of the brokerage I’m a client of the company I’m not a customer.
It’s just appalling,” said Ian McWilliams, a retail banker at Barclays, in a statement.”
They’ve done it because they can.
I’m an asset manager and I have my bank accounts and I’m able to sell assets in the market.”
The firm that bought Aeroposition shares has said that the move is designed to help it to survive in a changing global environment.
“As a financial services company, we are keen to retain an active presence in the London and London-based markets, and have also sought to acquire foreign currency assets, which can help us meet our financial obligations, and our financial objectives,” it said.
“We continue to have a good relationship with the London Stock Exchange and are confident that we can remain in the trading sector as a whole.”
While Aeropos have been losing money, they have been able do so because they have managed to make their clients money.
“It’s an extremely competitive market,” said David Brown, an asset management consultant at Investec.
“It’s a bit like an international lottery where if you don’t win, you can lose your money, but you have a chance to win.”
It is not the first time that the UK has been hit by an economic crisis that forced some foreign exchange traders to leave the country.
In November 2015, Deutsche Bank said that foreign exchange trader Michael Sauer would leave the UK in January 2019.
The bank also said last year that it was planning to cut about 10,000 jobs, including its UK operations, because of the financial climate.