If you don’t have a policy in place to deal with foreign exchange risk, you’ll only be able to respond to situations after they’ve already happened.
May 10, 2022 — 4 min read
If you’ve been keeping up with our blog over the past few weeks, then you should be all caught up on foreign exchange risk. You know that your organization likely has some degree of FX risk, that you should make it a priority to assess your risk level and exposures, and that foregoing FX risk management is one of the most costly mistakes your business could make.
This brings us to our next point: crafting a foreign exchange risk management policy. Having a policy in place is one of the most important steps your organization can take to address foreign exchange risk and volatility in the global currency markets. But if you don’t have a policy in place, or you don’t think your current policy addresses the full scope of your organization’s FX risk, it’s time for an upgrade.
Not sure what to do or where to start? Let us take you through the steps of developing your organization’s foreign exchange risk management policy.
Here’s the simple answer. If your organization doesn’t have a policy in place to deal with foreign exchange risk, you’ll only be able to respond to situations after they’ve already happened. Instead of acting to reduce your FX risk exposure, you’ll only be able to react to damage that’s already been done.
The markets are constantly moving, and volatility can have a real impact on your business’s bottom line without any warning. Without an FX risk management plan, you’ll only be able to jump into action once the damage has been done, and some of your initial response time will likely be taken up by strategizing over how to properly respond. In that time, the impacts to your business could easily increase.
A comprehensive FX risk management plan will not only give your organization a plan to jump into action in the event that market volatility has an impact on your business, but will also include long-term, ongoing measures to manage currency risk in your business’s day-to-day operations, even in times of muted volatility. By taking steps to reduce your risk exposures now, you can minimize the effects of volatility in the future.
There’s no singular answer to this question, because there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all foreign exchange risk management policy. Every policy is different, because an effective policy will address your organization’s FX risks, based on your day-to-day operations and exposures.
There are, however, a few basic elements that every policy should make a point to include.
How much foreign exchange risk your business can handle, and over what time periods.
The tools your company will use to mitigate said risks.
Who in the business is authorized to make decisions about FX risk.
A robust process to manage currency risk on an ongoing basis (rather than ad hoc reactions).
Long-term strategic planning decisions (as opposed to just day-by-day developments).
Measures and action items that can be shared with a group of people, so FX risk management does not fall solely on one key person.
Once the policy has been created, it’s also important that you have a process in place to share it with the company at large, in order for the company to be able to apply risk reduction measures at all times (even if a key decision-maker is out sick or leaves the company).
At the very least, you should revisit your FX risk management plans once a year. But it might not be a bad idea to reassess more frequently, particularly if your business undergoes changes that could impact its foreign exchange risk.
The following changes would be good opportunities to readjust your FX risk management strategy:
An increase or decrease in exposure to particular overseas markets
Exposure to new overseas markets or currencies
Changes in the outlook for relevant currency markets.
If you aren’t sure how to create or develop a risk management policy, we encourage you to discuss this with a foreign exchange specialist. A knowledgeable specialist can assess your FX risk, discuss your options, and help you to formulate the risk management policy that your organization needs for its specific risk profile.
For over 25 years, Xe has been a knowledgeable authority in the global currency markets. We understand foreign exchange risk, we help over 13,000 businesses each year with their foreign exchange and risk management needs.
Are you ready to manage your risk? Visit our Business page for more information about our offerings and to take the first steps in enhancing your organization’s foreign exchange risk management.