UK expats urged to join campaign against bank account closures
|Published:||5 Sep at 6 PM|
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During the last several months, Santander and other high street banks in the UK have begun a crackdown on expat account holders and those wishing to either change or open accounts. The reason given is that UK banks are only obliged to provide services to British residents.
The move has provoked anger amongst expats living overseas, many of whom have held accounts in the UK for decades. Retirees with private pensions are worst hit, as most UK providers will only remit monthly payments to bank accounts in Britain, leaving those whose bank has cut them off with no means of either accessing cash for everyday needs or making necessary transfers to their country of residence.
UK expat Warwick Gibbons, now resident on Crete, has started an online campaign aimed at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The authority is at present reviewing personal banking in the UK, and is happy to hear from any expat regarding concerns or complaints about services provided by Britain’s high street banks.
Unexpected support is coming from the EU, which recently issued a directive addressing banking difficulties experienced by expats living overseas. Although the directive mostly covers problems with opening foreign bank accounts, it states that ‘residency should not be used as a barrier to accessing payment services when needed’.
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I HAVE LIVED IN CYPRUS FOR 22YEARS WITH A BANK ACCOUNT AT RBS FOR OVER 40 YEARS. NOW THEY ARE TELLING ME THAT I MUST CLOSE MY ACCOUNT WITH THEM AND AFTER NUMEROUS CALLS TO THE HEAD OFFICE IN SCOTLAND THEY REFUSE TO GIVE ME A REASON.