Let’s start at the very beginning. What is the foreign exchange market?

It’s the largest financial market in the world, trading more than $4trn around the world every day. And a third of this is traded in London.

The majority of trade is speculators looking to turn a profit. But the roots of foreign exchange are firmly in international commerce.

The market is unique because it’s open 24hrs a day between 20:15 GMT on Sunday to 22.00 GMT Friday. During this time thousands of factors affect each individual currency, ranging from British elections, to American retail sales to floods in China.

The main players are the banks who trade the vast majority of the $4trn every day at the ‘interbank’ rate – literally a rate between the banks.

Smaller banks and brokers such as World First can get this rate as well and by taking smaller profits, they will in turn be able to pass this advantage on to their clients.

There are, of course, risks to dealing in the world’s financial markets and it can be tough trying to navigate them without specialist help. Fluctuations in currency rates can make a huge difference in the amount of money you end up with – a rate can move by as much as 10% over the course of a few days.

So it’s important – regardless of your needs, be they large or small – that you use global foreign exchange specialists who are on your side every step of the way.