Forced UK Account Closures for Expats Living in the EEA

Forced UK Account Closures for Expats Living in the EEA

Since our last article on this subject, more information has come to light regarding this. Barclays have now stated that they will be closing all bank accounts (that includes current accounts, deposit accounts and savings accounts) and Wealth Management Accounts, and some International banking accounts for expats living in the EEA, if the client can’t provide a UK residential address.

According to a communication one client has received from them, they are starting to go through the countries in the EEA alphabetically and writing to all the expats with a non-UK address advising them their accounts will be closed by the end of 2020.

Barclays are advising clients “they would like to let you know that in order to continue banking with us living in the UK and all of the addresses we hold for them will also need to be in the UK too. This includes any correspondence addresses. “

Barclays have provided the following link where you will find all the relevant details.

In addition to this, NatWest Wealth Management have also started advising clients that unless they can supply a UK residential address their investment portfolios will be liquidated and closed by the end of 2020.

Unfortunately, this has happened to one of my clients, who now faces a Capital Gains Tax Liability in France. There is nothing that can be done, at this late stage, to avoid this, but if this happens to you, we can make sure that the remaining portfolio can be re-invested in a tax efficient/compliant manner for you, as a tax resident of France.

HSBC and Lloyds have said that they are looking at this issue but to date, no decision has been made to close accounts, however this view could change in the future. To date only one bank has stated that they won’t be closing accounts and that is Santander.

At Blacktower we are working with a large number of those affected to find the best solutions for them, but in a number of cases it will mean completely restructuring their financial affairs, which can have tax implications.  It takes time and expertise, but it can be done.

The best advice I can give expats is don’t panic and act in haste, take advice from Blacktower as to what is the best course of action for you to take.

If you are or could be affected by this or would like a review of your current financial affairs or any wealth management matter please contact me by email: [email protected], visit our website or call me on 06 38 86 99 70. Blacktower Financial Management has over 32 years’ experience helping expats to make sure that their money works for them.

The above information was correct at the time of preparation and does not constitute investment advice and you should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity.

Blacktower Financial Management Ltd is authorised and regulated in the UKby the Financial Conduct Authority. Blacktower Financial Management (Int) Ltd is licensed in Gibraltar by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) through whom we have a registered branch and passport for financial services in France. License number 00805B.

This article is based on the opinion of the financial adviser and author, and does not reflect the views of Blacktower. The above information is based on current legislation which is subject to change and does not constitute as investment advice, or investment research and you should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity.

Blacktower Insurance Agents & Advisors Ltd is regulated in Cyprus by the Insurance Companies Control Service and registered with ORIAS in France. Blacktower Financial Management (Cyprus) Ltd is regulated in Cyprus by the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission and is registered with the AMF in France.

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FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes.

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