Panic Sets In as Banks Shut Expats’ Accounts Amid Fears Of Post Brexit Restrictions.
UK banks will have no choice but to abide by new rules after the end of Brexit transition period on January 1. They will lose what is known as EU ‘passporting’ rights from Dec 31, prompting a service shake-up. Banks have now started to inform British expats in Europe that their accounts will be withdrawn.
Thousands of expats living in the EU have been told their bank accounts will be closed owing to Brexit. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had stressed to banks that they must give at least two months’ notice of plans to close any accounts in credit. It said some were not informing customers in good time, although not every bank plans to shut accounts.
Following the UK’s full departure from the EU, UK banks will no longer be allowed to provide services to customers in the EU without the right banking licences. This is known as passporting, a system for banks in the EU which allows them to trade freely in any other state in the European Economic Area (EEA) without the need for more authorisation.
According to The Times, Lloyds Banking Group has already written to 13,000 current account and credit card customers who reside on the continent to advise them the products will no longer be available to them in the New Year. It is also said to be terminating UK mortgages handed to hundreds of expats in Slovakia. It is understood that one banking executive said it had been ‘an absolute nightmare’ trying to figure out which products could continue to be offered and where.
A spokesperson from Barclays Bank said, “With the UK due to leave the European Union, We can no longer offer credit cards to the customers that do not have a residential UK address linked to their Barclaycard. We have written to the impacted customers to give them advance notice of the decision.”
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