British tourists were left cash-strapped when the sterling exchange rate became null and void as the pound slumped to its lowest in 30 years following the Brexit vote. Panic spread after holidaymakers found they could not withdraw cash abroad due to the economic turmoil of the global markets on Friday, 23 June, that put the Exchange Rate Mechanism out of action temporarily.
The Brexit result caught markets off guard as the FTSE 100 plunged more than 8% – wiping £120bn ($164.21bn, €147.7bn) of the value of some of the UK's biggest firms. Hotels and banks blocked holidaymakers in Greece, the USA, Australia and Bulgaria from exchanging the pound into their local currencies.
Matt Rooney, from Nottinghamshire was on the island of Kos when he complained he could not withdraw money because it did not have an official exchange rate and tweeted: "It's beginning already! We're in Greece, no cash exchange & no cash machine withdrawals for Brits. Great #brexitfail".
A message from his hotel read: "We would like to inform you that we cannot exchange British or Scottish pounds at the moment, as we do not have an official exchange rate from the central bank."
Rooney has since been able to withdraw cash and congratulated staff at the hotel for all their help in settling the matter.
Meanwhile the Commonwealth Bank in Australia warned people travelling abroad that it had suspended the exchange of the British pound over the next couple of days, tweeting: "We are sorry but due to recent results from the British exit referendum we are temporarily suspending all foreign exchange of GBP pounds and transactions that do not include AUD until the morning of Monday, 27 June".