Fleet News

Fleets warned - wise up on EMU or risk losing out

FLEET chiefs and company bosses must make themselves Euro-compliant even though Britain will not be part of the first wave of European Monetary Union on January 1, 1999. In recent weeks Fleet NewsNet has reported on how many companies in the fleet arena have told customers they will be able to quote in Euros from January 1 next year and how they have asked suppliers to be Euro-compliant by then.

GE Capital Fleet Services will be Euro-compliant by January 1, 1999 and will be able to undertake business in Euros. However, UK managing director Jonathan Burr has warned that could be costly for companies operating in the UK outside the Euro framework. 'As Britain is not entering EMU in the first wave the Euro will be a foreign currency. Therefore someone will have to take the risk of conversion. It will be no different from a company asking for a quote in French Francs at the moment,' he said.

However, Burr warned that it would be naive to imagine that the introduction of EMU would result in price transparency across Europe. 'The Euro will create political pressures to eliminate some of the things which are presently barriers to trade across Europe. But there will not be one price for assets across Europe because tax rates are so different,' he said. 'As a fleet industry we must make people aware of the Euro and then get make them aware about how it will impact on their business.'

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