UK Banks begin to close their doors to EU residents
Residents across Europe including Cyprus who bank with Lloyds, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and even the Queen’s bank Coutts have, or soon will be informed that their account is going to be closed. This is a consequence of Brexit and the change in the way firms can provide financial services across borders within Europe. Without a European regulated entity, banks will have difficulty in providing services to EU residents from a UK base.
Most other major banks are considering their position and have stated that they are either “We continue to review the services we offer to customers within the EEA” (Barclays), “There is currently no certainty as to any actions we will be required to take” (Nationwide) or “No current plans, but monitoring the situation” (HSBC, First Direct, NatWest).
Many expats choose to keep a UK bank account open to receive a pension, salary or other income, such as rental payments for a UK property. These are in sterling which has an advantage over many non-UK accounts which have fees or poor exchange rates. The problems these closures are causing are many; cancelled direct debits and standing orders, contacting pension companies to change accounts etc.
What are your options?
There are various options open to you, but it can be very difficult to find the optimal solution for your particular circumstances. 3D Global, a British owned local financial services company established in 1997, has already been contacted by affected clients and is actively helping them with alternative arrangements. If you are unsure how this may impact you, contact 3D who will be able to advise you on the most effective option for your personal situation.
Mark Nowell DipPFS, CertCII, EFA