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Have read several articles on line today

that claim some UK banks (including

Coutts!!!) will be closing ex pat Bank accounts

in the UK at the end of the year. Claim it will

be too much hassle for them. Barclays are taking

our Barclaycard away in November but

warned us a year ago. No mention of

closing the current account yet.

If it's the finance passport scheme hope DWP

have an alternative ready :).
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I am at a loss to understand why a UK High St Bank would regard somebody who happened not to live in the UK as “Too much trouble”.

Transactions have (for years) been electronic, and thus whether you lived in Telford or Toulouse is entirely irrelevant. Of course, if it’s the latter, then you take a ‘non-GDP’ fee, as if there was some extra effort in effecting the conversion from €’s to £’s.

Everybody’s chosen method of dealing with their day-to-day funding will be different, but most will have retained a UK bank a/c. Most will have reasonably healthy funds passing through those accounts on a regular basis.

I simply can’t see why this might be seen as no longer worthwhile ......... but am I missing something?

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Gardian: did you read The Guardian article link above? Did you understand the sections on "passporting" and banking legislation?

" 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.

Unless a trade deal is agreed with the EU, UK financial institutions will have to abide by often arcane rules which vary from country to country and depend on what services are being offered by what kind of bank. "
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I accept what Gardian says about different arrangements suiting different people. I was of course referring to my own allergy to those two institutions [:D]

What I am not clear about is how this might affect direct payments of such things as an OAP or Government pension to France. (I believe private pension schemes come into a different category)

At the moment my two pensions are paid directly into my French account in Euros, but I imagine that there must be some intermediary bank involved in the transaction and I wonder if that bank might be affected by this loss of 'passporting rights"

Somewhat in anticipation of this I set up a Transferwise  account with a debit card but to be honest I don't know if this  really provide a solution, nor indeed how to have my pensions paid into it if the need arises..

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Pomme .........

Oops! What a silly burgher I am. I never was very good at reading the instructions. In my (pathetic) defence, I’m consistently unable to open these attachments.

Anyway ........ it won’t happen will it? It’s all scaremongering as Lehaut has implied.

I mean, the UK’s great leader wouldn’t countenance a situation where (worst case) 500k or so Brits living in France & Spain were unable to retain their UK bank accounts and had no means of transferring funds from the UK to their French or Spanish accounts.

He wouldn’t allow that to happen, would he? Would he ??? ...............

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[quote user="Gardian"]I am at a loss to understand why a UK High St Bank would regard somebody who happened not to live in the UK as “Too much trouble”.

I simply can’t see why this might be seen as no longer worthwhile .........

but am I missing something?[/quote]

Whilst the UK was a fully paid up member of the EU all banks were, by law, obliged to offer a 'non resident no frills' basic account to all non resident citizens who resided in any of the EU 28 nations. This directive will obviously cease for the UK from 31/12/20.

This will now enable any on-shore UK bank that choose so, to dump non-resident accounts and services at will.

The majority of customer accounts carry an annual cost, for the banks, to administer. This can be as high as £400/annum/account. The banks are able to absorb these costs through the use of customer cash whilst on deposit along with account and overdraft fees etc.

If, as an account holder, you only use the banks services to park small amounts of cash that are awaiting transfer to a third party currency exchange service, rather than use the banks own fx service, your cost to the bank will be at the higher end of the annual cost to them. Also, it is extremely unlikely you will be making an application for a mortgage, loan or overdraft facility.

With the intense anti-money laundering procedures banks are required to implement on all customers, your non resident status makes checking your integrity a much higher customer cost procedure. Couple all this with their inability to check your present credit rating renders you not only a liability but also an unprofitable liability.

Banks are a business, not a welfare organisation, but they do however expect a welfare response and action in times of crisis for themselves.

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...'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.


Well, well, well;  so the UK has agreed to be helpful - but the eu 'says non'.... !!!

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Peoiple tend to forget that any consequences of Brexit are entirely the responsibilty of those whe asked for it,voted for it and signed an agreement defining it.

The UK chose to leave and lose these "passporting" rights. In being 'helpful' it simply wants to retain access to a market for services.

It is of course possible  that some sort of negotiation of them is arrived at, but not by tearing up a treaty that has already been signed.

"Rule Britannia, Britannia waives the Rules
Britons always have been ruled by fools"

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Cajal, your credit check problems outlined in your post are exactly what Barclaycard said to me when I asked for their justification for removing our credit card. Ignore being a good trouble free client for 40 years.

I believe the FCA contacted UK finance institutes back in July, asking them to plan for this and act in the best interest of their clients!
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It’s not as simple as the EU not being helpful it is that the EU will need to protect its internal market and its much easier for the one member leaving the club to put its act in order.

My daughter works for a large London law firm and since the referendum they have been run off their feet with work. Brexit has been a lucrative period of time for them. One of the reasons that they have had so much work is that they have had to provide guidance for their customers to fit in line with what ever outcome eventually arrives. Those customers include Barclays and I would guess several other banks. Until those clients know the outcome of the trade talks they can’t make final moves or even know which path they are going to have to take. This is yet another example of the real effect that Brexit is going to have on individuals who have lives that involve links with both the EU and Britain. Passporting is complicated and will be sorted out eventually but not all banks will wan5 to be involved, some will want to drop links with the EU and chase all those new worldwide markets that they have been promised. Barclaycard have already decided that the implications involved with having a credit card that involves individuals resident in two different financial systems is too complicated to be worthwhile. In my very first economics lesson on banking the message was simple, banks are in business to make money. They are not there as a social service to their customers. Some British banks and some EU banks will decide that the additional costs involved in maintaining a service across the 20 Miles of water dividing Britain and France is not in their interest. It’s simple really.
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BinB - interesting post - and yes I am well aware of all the comments/points you are making.

It just seemed to me that the UK has agreed to allow all eu banks open access to the UK - but that there was no reciprocal action from the eu. 

And we all know banks just want our money = in fact they don't mind russian mafia, the oligarchs, and the drug dealers money so the banks have no morals, no standards, no nothing as far as I'm concerned.

Sadly they are a necessary evil - and with all this talk of a 'cashless' society they're laughing all the way to their own little tax haven banks.

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Banking and financial services

Most people living in Europe should not see any change to their banking when the transition period ends (31 December 2020). Whether UK banks can service customers living in an EEA country is a matter of local law and regulation. Also banks are set up differently, and may have taken different actions to continue to serve their customers.

Your bank or finance provider should contact you if they need to make any changes to your product or the way they provide it. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected, contact your provider or seek independent financial advice.


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OK - I'll admit it - I'm stupid.

But this is what I don't understand -

'Unless the UK and EU strike a comprehensive trade deal covering

financial services, banks will have to secure licences to operate in

each individual country and follow separate rules in each jurisdiction.'

'...follow separate rules....' - I had thought that all banks throughout the eu had to follow the same rules - wasn't that what the eu was supposed to be about - the 'level playing-field' and all ?

What costs do the UK banks incur in dealing with UK ex-pats living in Canada, NZ, Oz - or anywhere outside the UK?   There must be large numbers of UK former residents, now living world-wide, who still have financial ties to the UK - how do they cope with UK pensions, UK rental income etc etc. ?

Isn't it strange how the numbers of UK ex-pats living in the eu tends to fluctuate greatly depending on whichever story is being written.

At one time we heard about 2 million UK ex-pats in the eu; the DWP refers to 160,000 permanent eu residents - now it seems there's hardly enough of us to make the wretched big banks bother with the few of us out here !!

I work on the principle/wishful thinking 'Something will turn up....' !!

And if the french finance bods think there's a chance the UK citizens won't have any access to money to pay the french tax bills - you can bet something will happen to sort this out !


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It is not a new problem. As an example, a Guardian article from 2014

Basically, it's impossible for us to open a bank account in the UK

I have a UK passport and a Canadian driver's licence https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/aug/22/canadian-uk-bank-account-open-refused

A search for something like <"a country" UK expat bank> will bring up similar examples others have encountered.

How pensioners are paid all depend on whether UK banks have subsidiaries or similar in a country. UK state pensions aren't a problem and can be transferred in the local currency. Otherwise it is probably offshore accounts and having to pay for the service.

Whether you accept it or not, a banks primary raison d'etre is to make money not to act as a social service.
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OK - but I did open a UK bank a/c whilst being resident in France.   Don't really seem to remember having too much trouble, although admitedly was with same bank as our joint a/c - just needed to have one solely for uk rental to keep the £££s separate and clear for tax people.

I think the advice to anyone leaving the UK to live in France was to keep open as many bank and savings accounts as possible (within reason).

I certainly don't expect the banks to act as a social service, but sometimes, just sometimes, a bit of consideration for long term customers from a moral point of view is in order .  After all, the banks caused the 2008 crash - and guess who bailed them out - the very same customers they are going to leave in the lurch.

Can't someone set up a 'people's bank'........ !!!


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