UK companies considering eurozone exit strategy

Laura Kuenssberg

Former Business Editor

Drachma coins could return to Greece if it crashes out of the euro

It is impossible to predict what will happen in Greece; whether they will be forced to leave the euro, whether this time they will stumble to a deal, but find themselves in an identical situation in a year's time; whether their exit, 'Grexit', would unleash financial chaos across the continent with a heavy price to be paid here too. Meetings to try to grind out a deal will start again tomorrow we hear tonight.

But as well as traders preparing for the return of the Greek drachma some UK companies are starting to get ready.

And research seen exclusively by ITV News reveals that while a majority of firms haven't taken any action and do not have any plans to, some are starting to make significant moves.

Research from the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales who represent the number crunchers at the UK's companies who are best placed to know what is going on reveals some intriguing findings.

The ICAEW suggests that for companies who trade with the eurozone and worry about the impact of things getting worse, over one in 10, 11%, are looking an exit strategy from the eurozone.

Nearly one in five, 19%, are bringing back cash from the euro area and converting it back into either pounds or dollars, 15% are looking at reducing the number of staff, and 11% are looking at selling assets.

What might be more worrying perhaps is that a majority of all companies, 52%, have no contingency plans at all, and, the ICAEW suggests, are not considering making any.

It is perfectly likely that a euro meltdown will never happen, also perfectly likely that politicians will stagger on from shaky deal to deal. But in the interim at least some of the companies whose business depends in part on the health of the single currency are starting to take steps to prepare.