On this page you can find the best print and electronic sources for historical exchange rates. Most web sources for historical rates only give figures for the working week. If you are looking for an end of month rate and enter the last day of a month in a given year, it may show up as unavailable if that day fell on a weekend.
The Financial Times publishes tables of world currencies against the Pound, Dollar, Euro and Yen. The information is derived from WM Reuters Spot Rates and Morningstar data. The tables for the last five years are available from the FT Data Archive (subscription required).
The Pacific Exchange Rate Service offers an extensive range of current and historical exchange rate data. The service is provided by Professor Antweiler of the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business and is primarily for the academic community. The rates start in 1971 but complete data sets will not be available for every currency.
The Database Retrieval System allows you to select a base currency, a target currency, time span, volume or price notation and a frequency of figures within that (daily, weekly or monthly). Data can be downloaded in a variety of formats.
The site also publishes annual reference charts for 24 currencies against the US dollar, Canadian dollar and pound sterling.
These charts are compiled from a variety of sources, including the IMF, World Bank and OECD.
Oanda is a commercial website providing foreign exchange and information services for 164 currencies. The data range generally begins in 1990 but the start point varies for each currency. Note that the rates provided by Oanda are averages of figures gathered from Telerate, Bridge, and Reuters rather than being closing market prices.
The Interactive Currency Table covers 79 world currencies with data going back to 1st January 1995.
The Bank publishes exchange rates through their Statistical Interactive Database. The site provides monthly, quarterly and annual tables going back to January 1963; they can be downloaded in various formats.
ICAEW's Library & Information Service can provide information on end of month, monthly average and annual average exchange rates. We are unable to provide historical daily rates.
This is now available on the National Archives website. The Bank of England is the source for all the tables listed above.
Simon's Taxes (formerly Simon's Direct Tax Service) maintains a list of over 100 foreign exchange rates, as published annually by the Inland Revenue for general use in converting foreign currency to sterling. The tables are in Binder 10 Part F3.1 and start in 2007-08.
The Library & Information Service subscribes to Simon's Taxes through the LexisNexis online platform.
International Financial Statistics is a monthly publication from the International Monetary Fund in Washington. The publication dates back to 1974. The Library & Information Service holds copies of the January and July editions from 2007 until 2012 (as well as a copy of the edition for December 2012). The main features of International Financial Statistics are:
The Companies & Markets section of the Financial Times gives exchange rates for 51 currencies against the Pound, Dollar, Euro and Yen. The Library keeps back issues for nine months and holds the FT on microfilm from 1975 onwards. The Guildhall Library holds the FT in various formats back to 1888.
The annual volume of FT Interactive Data's Capital Gains Tax Service lists a number of exchange rates for the UK and the Republic of Ireland. These include:
If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by web chat or by email at email@example.com.