Universal Partners is delivering foreign exchange services, at zero profit to the company, to all organisations bringing in vital COVID-19 equipment. This service is listed by The Crown Commercial Service, the official procurement body. The founders of Universal Partners, Dhaval Patel and Oliver Carson, introduced the extraordinary measure to give practical support during the current crisis. They are believed to be the only FX Company offering this service.
Universal Partners has created a special team, who prioritises COVID-19 payments. No fees are added to these transfers and it can mean extending credit limits to facilitate faster transactions.
Many Universal Partners clients were protected by forward contracts coming into the lockdown, meaning they had certainty over the rates they will pay during this time of high volatility. However, Universal Partners could see that some were struggling, and this was delaying vital supplies reaching hospitals.
Dhaval Patel, co-Founder and Director of Universal Partners, explained; “We could see that foreign exchange issues were slowing down the procurement process. Those delays meant that medical teams weren’t getting vital supplies in time (including PPE and hand sanitiser), which could lead to loss of life.
In addition, with sterling rates moving over 10% in a short space of time, many UK businesses saw increased costs on imports. By forward buying, our clients saved that 10% and that value translated to more vital supplies being available to those on the front-line.”
Pai Skincare, a natural and ethical cosmetics company, created a hand sanitiser especially for coronavirus and have donated 8,000 units. Universal Partners converted $150,000 and EUR 170,000 for them in March.
Sarah Brown, the Founder of Pai Skincare explained; “We are a global business. There has been so much volatility in the markets with Brexit and now Covid-19. Universal Partners has kindly provided their service at cost during the Covid-19 crisis, as we are providing essential items related to Covid-19.”
JAG UFS, a logistics solutions company, has brought in 10 x 747 aircrafts carrying PPE (including 10 million face masks in each aircraft) to supply NHS Scotland & Wales.
UPFX has been forward buying on $7million for supplier payments.
Gary Wilcox, the CEO of JAG UFS commented; “Universal Partners has been instrumental in the PPE deliveries, allowing us to forward buy on currency. During so much uncertainty, they have really added value to our business and to the NHS in Scotland and Wales.”
UPFX has also donated care packages to local hospitals. These include additional hygiene supplies and snacks.
UPFX is renowned for their extraordinary growth. Founded in 2017, they achieved a turnover of £113m during their first year. In 2019 their turnover had grown to £945 million with £2.8 million profit
Oliver Carson, the co-founder of Universal Partners concluded: “We’ve been extraordinarily successful, and it was time to give back. This virus has affected all our lives, we’re pleased to be able to play our part in the work to fight it.”