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UK Banking for British expats


We have banked with Barclays in the UK since the 1960’s.
Since moving to Belgium in the 70’s we continued to keep our accounts open.
This week we received notification that we living in Belgium, shall no longer be able to do that. I believe that expats in some other European countries are not being excluded.
Does anyone know what this is about? Brexit?
In any case does anyone know of a UK bank where we can open an account ?


I believe it is a bank by bank thing. I use TSB and (I think) I am ok.
Yes it is Brexit related.
Check out Revolut which a lot of people are using now.

Nov 28, 2020 00:24

I am with the Co-op and have not heard anything about having to close my accounts.
My understanding is that you can no longer open a new account with a UK bank unless you are a UK resident.
You should contact your bank and asked for an explanation and suggestions.

Nov 28, 2020 09:02

Kassiestamper - It is definitely a Barclays decision. My husband has spent some time trying to talk to them to find a way as after all these years it is such hassle. However it is difficult to get hold of anyone in any position of authority and frequently they have no answer.
I just wondered if any other expats had received this info either from Barclays or another British. Bank.
So now we have to find one that will not be sending out such mail to faithful investors.

Nov 28, 2020 12:34
wezembeekwanderer Nov 28, 2020 14:51
Oppressed in Oppem

We're also with Barclays but still use our old UK address where family are living.

As far I as I can see, only Lloyds and HSBC appear to offer non-resident accounts. I must say that I'm a little wary of Revolut. As it's not a traditional bank, it's not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and so I wouldn't trust it to hold large sums of cash (£1k+). They also lost their CEO this year after only 5 months in the position.

Nov 30, 2020 12:01

Thanks all for your differing opinions.
Have been recommended to go with Nat West so hope it’s not out of the frying pan into the fire!

Nov 30, 2020 17:12

Revolut isn't a bank. It's a phone app, which is why it isn't approved as a bank. It is approved in the UK as a money transfer service.

It's going to be difficult to get Barclays to change their mind unless you can show them some sort of UK residential address. Unfortunately, that's something you should have planned for back in 2016 after the referendum, and it could be too late now, unless you can get a relative or child to lend you their address.

I do need to ask though, if you've been here for nearly 50 years, why do you need a UK bank account?

Nov 30, 2020 17:58

Anon I don’t expect Barclays to change their mind but what I find infuriating is this is the first indication it was about to happen. I haven’t heard of any other Banks issuing a similar statement.
We have family in the UK but don’t feel it’s fair to use their addresses. That could also indicate to HM tax authorities that we had property there which we don’t and incur a tax liability.
We kept the account for convenience as in normal times we visit family in different parts quite frequently and prefer to operate in the currency of the country without exchange costs each time a transaction occurs. And we already had the account which we assumed would see us out!

Dec 1, 2020 17:12