Lloyds snubs expat customers with sale of Spanish banking network

Published:  10 May at 6 PM
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A new blow to British expats living in Spain came with the news that Lloyds Bank is preparing to sell its 28 Spanish branches to Banco Salvadel, Spain’s fourth largest bank.

Concern is rife in the Spanish expat community, as the branches mostly served around 50,000 expat mortgage clients. Formerly under the Halifax banner or as Lloyds branches, the 28 banks will be sold for a £250 million loss due to the drastic fall in the Spanish property market.

Expats whose mortgages are held by Lloyds are worried that a bureaucratic nightmare will result, similar to the one when Lloyds purchased Halifax some years ago. Money transfers were badly affected as international banking codes had not been synchronised, and took months to sort out.

According to a spokesperson from Lloyds Banking Group, the bank is working with Banco Salvadel to ensure no mortgage holders or other customers are affected by the sale. A collaboration agreement, she explained, is being put together and will include exploring business opportunities in the retail, commercial, private banking, asset finance and asset management arms.

Late last year, Lloyds closed its expat mortgage facility in an attempt to focus on its core customers in the UK, leaving NatWest the only bank dealing with expat home loans. Lloyds’ former high street rival has done well out of the Lloyds decision, seeing a 50 per cent increase in expat mortgages since last August when the Lloyds pullout was announced.
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