Nationwide International closure narrows expats offshore bank choice

Published:  17 Jan at 6 PM
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Nationwide International, the offshore branch of the well-known high street chain, will close some time in the summer.

The closure of the offshore bank is certain to hit thousands of expats, as the brand is popular with retirees living overseas as well as expat workers. Shutting down of customer accounts is already in progress, giving account holders little time to find alternative offshore banking facilities.

According to a spokesperson for the bank, a number of factors were taken into account, which left closure as the best option for Nationwide. A decline in the volume of current business, increases in running costs and falling demand for its products were all given as reasons for the surprise shutdown of Nationwide’s offshore operations.

Customers of the bank are already receiving letters informing them of the closure, and further communications are promised, giving more details as regards closure dates for specific accounts. The bank is advising its clients to either transfer their savings immediately or to wait until they are given a fixed closing date for their accounts.

Those with fixed rate bonds will be able to redeem them before the scheduled date of maturity without incurring a penalty. Clients with two or more accounts will be sent a separate letter for each account, and the bank is assuring its account-holders their money is in safe hands.

Nationwide International is urging its customers to begin the search for a new offshore bank right now, as the process may take some time. The bank is also suggesting taking advice from a financial advisor before they make a move. Over the past 18 months, many expats have seen their UK bank accounts closed, necessitating a move to offshore providers such as Nationwide International.

At the present time, no UK banks offer any services to expats, and this is not expected to change. The majority of high street names’ offshore arms are finding trading conditions similar to those forcing Nationwide’s closure, including increased regulatory costs and low interest rates, both of which narrow profit margins for their parent banks.

Source – International Advisor
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