Expatriates in receipt of UK pensions and benefits may soon be contacted by the Department of Work & Pensions to confirm their international bank details.
From 31st January 2014, the Department for Work and Pensions will need an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identification Code (BIC) in order to make payments to expatriates’ accounts in Spain and other Eurozone countries. This change is due to new European Union regulations which aim to make payments between EU countries faster and more secure.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) already holds IBAN and BIC details for most of its customers. But expatriates whose details are not yet held by the DWP will soon receive a letter asking for them.
Bank customers will not be asked to provide any further details of their accounts, such as passwords. It is only the IBAN and BIC details that are needed
If you receive a letter, you should complete the attached form and return it to the DWP as soon as possible, says the British Embassy in Madrid.
Failure to do so may mean your payments will be stopped because after 31st January 2014, banks in Eurozone countries will not accept any DWP direct payments without these details.
You can get the IBAN and BIC details from your bank account statement or directly from your bank.
Expatriates only need to provide additional bank details if they receive payments into a Eurozone account outside the United Kingdom and have received a letter from the DWP. Those whose pension or benefit is paid into a UK account are unaffected by this change in EU regulations.
Officials from the Department for Work and Pensions are also reminding customers who have changed address, and who have yet to inform the DWP, to contact the International Pension Centre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 0044 191 218 7777 in order to make sure their details are up to date.
For more information about the change to European bank account numbers, visit the European Commission website at http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/payments/sepa/index_en.htm