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Keeping an UK bank account

Keeping an UK bank account

Old Jun 2nd 2022, 1:20 pm
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Default Keeping an UK bank account

A neighbour of mine (85 yrs) and Portuguese resident for over 20yrs has been a long-standing Barclay UK bank customer. When she tried to book and pay for a flight to the UK her card was refused. I think it was because she had not used it or did not activate it. Anyway she called Barclays and requested a new card only to be told she can't have one because she doesn't have an UK address. Has anyone else had this problem? Is this a Brexit thing or is Barclays just bloody minded?
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Old Jun 2nd 2022, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: Keeping an UK bank account

Unless Barclay's has been authorized by the EU to provide retail banking services within the EU, aka "the single market", then what has happened is a consequence of Brexit.
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Old Jun 2nd 2022, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: Keeping an UK bank account

Originally Posted by NataHH View Post
A neighbour of mine (85 yrs) and Portuguese resident for over 20yrs has been a long-standing Barclay UK bank customer. When she tried to book and pay for a flight to the UK her card was refused. I think it was because she had not used it or did not activate it. Anyway she called Barclays and requested a new card only to be told she can't have one because she doesn't have an UK address. Has anyone else had this problem? Is this a Brexit thing or is Barclays just bloody minded?
I rent my house out in the UK and kept my TSB account open mainly to have the rent paid in. I told TSB I was moving abroad and needed to change my address to my Portuguese one and they were more than happy to do this and included keeping my debit card. I made the change in June 2021, post Brexit.

Last edited by PJC61; Jun 2nd 2022 at 3:04 pm. Reason: Typo
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Old Jun 2nd 2022, 3:24 pm
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Default Re: Keeping an UK bank account

Originally Posted by NataHH View Post
A neighbour of mine (85 yrs) and Portuguese resident for over 20yrs has been a long-standing Barclay UK bank customer. When she tried to book and pay for a flight to the UK her card was refused. I think it was because she had not used it or did not activate it. Anyway she called Barclays and requested a new card only to be told she can't have one because she doesn't have an UK address. Has anyone else had this problem? Is this a Brexit thing or is Barclays just bloody minded?
Yes, it's a consequence of Brexit

Barclays are quite clear in their guidance: https://www.barclays.co.uk/brexit/#ifyouliveineea
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Old Jun 2nd 2022, 4:59 pm
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Default Re: Keeping an UK bank account

HSBC are no problem
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Old Jun 2nd 2022, 5:15 pm
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Default Re: Keeping an UK bank account

Having looked at HSBC and read the blurb on other UK banking websites it seems that banks are taking advantage of the Brexit situation. In other words if you leave enough money in your account or have regular money flowing in you are OK. I will tell to march into the local branch when she visits the UK in September. Thanks everyone for posting your comments.
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Old Jun 2nd 2022, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Keeping an UK bank account

Originally Posted by NataHH View Post
.... if you leave enough money in your account or have regular money flowing in you are OK. I will tell to march into the local branch when she visits the UK in September. ..
If you live partly or mostly, or otherwise have "a substantial presence" in the UK, then you are allowed to access a bank account in the UK even if you have a home in the EU and spend part of the year there.

On the other hand, if you [1] live entirely, or almost entirely in the EU (except for holiday visits to the UK), and/or [2] own no home in the UK, and/or [3] have no business or other substantial presence in the UK, and therefore are primarily a resident of the EU (irrespective of your citizenship(s)), then you are not allowed to hold a bank account in the UK unless the bank has a licence to offer retail services in the EU.

There may be ways to fudge the issue, such as retaining a UK address with a relative, churning transactions in the UK through the account, etc., but if you are primarily an EU resident and have no substantial presence in the UK, then you risk having your account closed as it puts the bank at risk of being sanctioned by the EU for providing banking services to an EU resident. Therefore at best "marching into the bank" may be unhelpful, and could be counterproductive - the bank may take information provided during the meeting as evidence that your neigbour is primarily a resident of the EU.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jun 2nd 2022 at 5:48 pm.
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Old Jun 2nd 2022, 9:57 pm
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Default Re: Keeping an UK bank account

Originally Posted by NataHH View Post
Having looked at HSBC and read the blurb on other UK banking websites it seems that banks are taking advantage of the Brexit situation. In other words if you leave enough money in your account or have regular money flowing in you are OK. I will tell to march into the local branch when she visits the UK in September. Thanks everyone for posting your comments.
Brexit is a massive screw up and an enormous extra expense for many companies, including banks. For some banks, who already have subsidiaries and customers within the EU, it's worth taking a long view and swallowing the extra cost and hassle. For others, which are primarily or wholly UK based, it would be commercial suicide t(and potential regulatory risk) to continue serving EU resident customers.

If you read the link I posted, you'll see that Barclays are 100% clear on their position:

Under what circumstances can I have an EEA address and keep my accounts open?

You'll be able to keep an EEA address if you meet one of the following criteria
  • You’re a Crown employee, or you’re the spouse or civil partner of a Crown employee
  • The EEA address on your account is for someone who manages your account for you (for example, someone who has power of attorney), or for someone who is set up to receive information on your behalf (for example, an accountant or lawyer)
  • You’re in the EEA on a temporary basis for six months or less and will be moving back to the UK
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Old Jun 3rd 2022, 7:19 am
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Default Re: Keeping an UK bank account

She might be able to open a HSBC Expat Advance account. In the UK banking is free I would have thought there is a market for keeping and charging expats that have investments in the UK and/or get their pensions paid directly into an UK account.
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Old Jun 3rd 2022, 8:17 am
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Default Re: Keeping an UK bank account

Lloyds also seem to have no problem providing a basic current account with debit card and online access to residents of certain EU countries, including PT. Note that they are not allowed to provide any credit or savings which includes credit cards. Also anyone who is not resident in the country where the account is, has to provide a signed declaration as to which country they are resident for tax purposes so that the regular communications of tax liabilities could take place if required. It seems very much up to each bank how they deal with customers in various countries, including the EU/EEA, depending a lot on how many accounts they would have and how they fit into each country's technical agreements - it is up to each country's banking regulations rather than EU-wide rules. As an example apparently it is far more difficult to keep a UK account if you are resident in Spain than in PT!
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