A referendum on withdrawal from the EU forced the British to buy up euros and dollars

The British company, which owns the currency exchange, reported a sharp increase in sales of euros and dollars in the last days before the referendum on leaving the EU, reports Reuters. The British feared that if the country will vote for Brexit, it would drastically weaken the purchasing power of the pound in the run up to the holiday season.

According to the national postal company Post Office, which also provides retail banking services, total sales of the currency in its branches and through online services has increased over the weekend by 74% compared to last year. Tuesday, 21 June, cash sales were higher by 49% compared with the same day last year, and the volume of transactions on purchase of foreign currency via the Internet grew by 381%.

Company Travelex said that in the period from 14 to 21 June online orders on currency exchange increased by 30%. To the Post Office and Travelex said that the demand is uniformly distributed between euros and dollars.

At the same time Marks and Spencer Bank, which offers currency exchange services at the stores of M&S reports that sales of foreign currency in the exchange are at a typical level for this time of year.

The money transfer service Azimo has announced that Thursday will suspend operations due to the volatility in the foreign exchange market and uncertainty about the outcome of the vote, which she cannot provide adequate guarantees to its customers.

On Thursday morning the pound in Asian deals rose to a high this year to $1,4797, rose last week by 4%. On the open market for one pound, according to Reuters, $1,471 and €1,299.

Banks operating in the retail sector, at the direction of the financial regulator be reserved in cash by Friday, writes the Financial Times. According to the newspaper, the Bank of England is monitoring the websites of online banking and ATMs of the largest financial institutions, including Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, was in working condition after the referendum.

The biggest financial and law firms the UK has stated that on the night of 23-24 June, when they supplied the results of the referendum, their personnel will be on emergency duty to follow the situation and to assist customers.

Recent public opinion polls show that the gap between supporters and opponents of a British exit from the EU is extremely low. The vote in the referendum began today at 09:00 GMT. Significant results will be known not earlier than 05:30 GMT on 24 June.