British banks close customer accounts living in Europe


British banks will close the accounts of thousands of British nationals living permanently in the EU due to Brexit.

UK banks will close by the end of the year the accounts of thousands of British nationals residing in some of the 27 European Union member states due to Brexit.

An article in the London-based local newspaper Eleftheria describes the issue that has arisen in recent days in Britain regarding the bank accounts of British nationals living in the European Union.

From 1 January 2021, Britain will leave the European Economic Area (EOX) and the common market of the Union without any trade agreement between the two parties regulating banking issues.

Banking institutions including Lloyds and Barclays have already sent letters to their clients stating that their accounts will be closed, according to Bloomberg.

In the absence of any kind of agreement with the EU, British banks will lose the “passport” for banking services in the territory of the 27 countries of the Union and the 3 EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) that make up the EEA.

“Accounts will be closed and debit and credit cards will be canceled,” said Nigel Green, founder of the deVere Group, noting that without a trade agreement between Brussels and London, it would be illegal for British banks to serve British living permanently in the EU, to the extent that they have not applied for and obtained new banking licenses in the EU.

Lloyds has contacted customers in the Netherlands, Germany and Portugal, noting that the bank will no longer be allowed to provide services to them and that they will have to look for other solutions themselves, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday. “We have sent letters to a small number of our clients living in EU countries affected by the change, to inform them that due to the UK leaving the European Union, unfortunately we will not be able to provide them with some of the US headquarters. Β. our banking services, “Lloyds said in a statement.

A Barclays spokesman declined to comment to Bloomberg.

Coutts said in a statement on Tuesday: “In light of Britain’s exit from the EU, we continue to look at the services we offer to our customers within the EEA and whoever is affected by the changes receive immediate information.

The time of closing accounts depends on the type of product owned by each customer, however there will always be prior notice. “In the absence of an alternative successor status to the operating passport within the European Economic Area for financial services with an agreement between the UK and the EU, we have taken the difficult decision to stop providing services to customers residing in the EEA.”

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland left the European Union on 31 January 2020, but during the transitional period, which ends on 31 December 2020, at 11 pm British time, London retained all obligations arising from participation. normally participating in the single market, the EEA and the EU customs union.