Bad news for expat savers as Britannia pulls out of IOM

Published:  23 Jan at 6 PM
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Expat savers with accounts held offshore in the Isle of Man are facing more bad news as the Britannia offshore arm of the Cooperative Bank announces its closure plans.

After a raft of Isle of Man bank closures hit expat savers in 2013, the new year looks to be even worse for UK citizens living overseas who don’t want to risk their savings in foreign banks. Britannia’s announcement came as no big surprise after its parent company, the Cooperative Bank, closed down its operations in the Channel Islands.

The Isle of Man wind-down is expected to last until the first quarter of 2015, the proposed date for the final shutting of its doors. Notwithstanding the usual spin by the bank’s spokesperson, there’s no doubt that the closure will wreak more havoc amongst expat savers with few other options.

According to a statement by the bank. the closure is part of simplification plans announced in 2013 by the parent company. Customers, it said, will have full support during the closing months, with branches staying open until midyear, and international clients being contacted by letter in good time.

Unlike the situation when the Cooperative Bank closed its Guernsey operations, customers with fixed rate deals will see their accounts mature with no changes, as per terms and conditions. The departure of Britannia leaves expat savers without any hope at present of matching its regular saving account variable deals or their 60-day notice account.

Given the time allowed for the closure, it’s possible that competing banks may come up with more than is on offer at present. However, those with hefty deposits prepared to leave the money in for longer are likely to fare better in the long-term than those holding smaller funds who rely on interest payments to supplement their pensions payments.
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