Lloyds Bank blanks out expat savers with interest cut and transfer bans

Published:  14 Oct at 6 PM
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Lloyds Bank has issued yet another blow to its loyal expat savers by cutting its interest rate and banning transfers to a better savings deal.

Previously, long-term UK expat savers with easy-access savings accounts at Lloyds Bank were able to switch online to a better deal as regards interest rates. Loyal customers have now received letters from the bank informing them that rates on their easy-access accounts have been reduced to 0.55 per cent, and the ability to switch to a better deal has been removed.

One 40-year Lloyds customer resident in Spain was told that to switch in future she would need to supply and prove a UK address. Another 45-year customer was told on the phone that he had two options – to close his account or move to a non-interest-bearing account.

When he attempted to move his account, the bank changed its mind, giving his address in Spain as the reason. Both his state and private pensions were being paid into his Lloyds current account, as was the state pension of another affected customer who’d been living in France for 20 years and had a 50-year account history with the bank.

It seems that not just savings accounts are being hit by Lloyds’ new requirements for a valid UK address. Current accounts and Club Lloyds interest-bearing accounts are also affected, with no reason being given to irate long-term clients who query the new rules.

A spokesperson for Lloyds said that the tightening of international monetary regulations is responsible for the changes, which must be applied by all UK banks in compliance with current legal requirements. In certain cases, he said, continued provision of services to UK expats resident overseas may need to be restricted.

The spokesperson pushed Lloyds’ offshore international private banking service based in the Isle of Man, adding that its current account costs £20 monthly unless over £2,500 per month is deposited. Bankspeak notwithstanding, perhaps it’s time for longstanding expat clients to seek out other alternatives.
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