UK expats abroad face losing their Barclaycards

Published:  25 Apr at 6 PM
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Barclaycard is threatening to cancel little-used Barclaycards belonging to expats overseas unless a UK address is provided.

Barclaycard, the UK’s largest provider of credit cards, has written to customers living overseas who haven’t used their cards for six months or more, The letter states that unless a UK address is given, their cards will be cancelled.

According to Barclaycard MD Manoj Piplani, the bank is only closing expats’ cards unused for six months or more to minimise inconvenience to customers. The inconvenience and stress to customers of attempting to open an offshore bank account involving a credit card if a considerable deposit is not available seems not to have occurred to him.

Many expat retirees keep an account in the UK for state pension receipts, and use the card twice yearly to cover holidays or other such irregular costs. Piplani said that Barclaycard’s terms and conditions clearly state a UK address must be provided, but didn’t mention that Barclaycard customers living abroad haven’t previously been penalised for not giving a UK address at the time of emigration.

At the present time, 30,000 expats have been contacted, many of whom may no longer have family in the UK, and UK-based customers who don’t make frequent use of their cards are also being targeted. However, the bank has no excuse for cancelling its UK cardholders’ accounts as addresses have been provided.

Social media comments are as expected, with many expats stating that they keep the facility for emergencies and would have serious problems if their accounts were closed. Offshore banks provide similar services for expats, but charges are high unless around £20,000 is deposited and kept in the account.
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