The Telegraph states that the bank began a review of its international offerings in 2021 and is now writing to customers with a six-month warning and that a Barclays spokesman stated that “UK products are designed for customers living in Britain”. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) added that “it was a commercial decision as banks are allowed to set their own rules on customers which they accept.”
The lender cited by The Telegraph, has advised expats to open a global account with Barclays, however, they will need to maintain a balance of £100,000 in order to avoid a monthly charge of £40.
According to The Telegraph: “In 2021, Lloyds Banking Group, which owns Halifax and the Bank of Scotland, contacted 13,000 expats who live in Europe to tell them their accounts held in Britain would close as the bank is no longer allowed to offer services.”
Under the latest closures, those with cash ISAs and fixed-rate bonds will be able to keep their accounts unless they live in Estonia, Italy, the Netherlands or Slovakia.
The same rule applies to mortgage and loan holders with the UK wing of the bank. However, existing home loan customers will not be able to remortgage when their term ends.
Crown employees and their spouses can also keep the accounts, and the bank will allow the account to remain open if the overseas address is for someone who manages the money, such as an accountant or lawyer.”
A FCA spokesman said “Banks may set their own requirements on country of residence for account holders and must comply with local law and regulation when serving customers outside the UK.
“Whether or not banks decide to extend services to customers outside of the UK is a commercial decision for them, but we expect them to treat their customers fairly, comply with equalities legislation, and provide adequate notice to the customer if they decide to close their account.
“Customers who feel they have had their accounts closed unfairly have the right to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.”
A separate article published by The Guardian explained that “Financial services in the UK can currently trade across the European Economic Area (EEA) because member countries are bound by the same regulatory framework.
The arrangement, known as “passporting”, expires at the end of the year and, while the UK has legislated so that EU banks can continue to provide services for customers in Britain, the EU has not done the same.”
Further sharing that “The Dutch National Bank confirmed that UK banks will no longer be able to provide current or savings accounts to retail customers in the Netherlands.
Customers who bank with firms that own EU-based subsidiaries are having their accounts transferred, but banks that do not have an EU arm would have to apply for a licence to trade in each EEA country. Some banks have too small a customer base in the EU to justify the cost.”