The decision comes as a result of a thorough assessment of the bank’s international banking services.
Leading UK bank Barclays has implemented a substantial measure that could result in certain expatriate customers finding it difficult to access their savings and pensions.
On Friday, the bank made an announcement stating that any British national residing outside the UK will no longer have the option of holding a current or savings account with Barclays UK.
Many foreigners who rely on these accounts for their financial transactions may be affected by this decision.
Account Cancellation Coming Soon
Barclays is currently issuing notices to its customers, informing them of the imminent cancellation of their accounts. This decision comes as a result of a comprehensive evaluation of the bank’s international banking services, a process that was launched in 2021.
As part of this assessment, the bank has taken steps to notify its customers of upcoming changes, and they will be given sufficient time to adapt to these changes through a six-month notice period.
For people who have adopted an expatriate lifestyle and belong to the wealthy customer segment, Barclays presents an attractive solution: the opportunity to open a global account, which offers several attractive features, including the convenience of online banking and the flexibility to handle multiple currencies.
However, to avoid incurring a monthly fee of £40, account holders must maintain a minimum balance of £100,000. This move by Barclays reflects the financial institution’s commitment to optimizing its international banking offerings to better serve its diverse customer base.
By providing this notice period, the bank ensures that its valued customers have sufficient time to consider their options and make any necessary adjustments to their financial arrangements.
Barclays has stated that its UK products are primarily intended for UK resident customers. The Financial Conduct Authority has responded, acknowledging that this is a commercial decision within the bank’s prerogative, as banks have the autonomy to set their own criteria for customers.
Barclays Bank’s Customers Object
Some clients, such as professor David Barker, 89, who moved from London to Australia in 1988, have expressed strong disapproval of this decision. The April letter from Barclays that Professor Barker and his wife received left them both stunned. The official informed him that his family could re-register at his daughter’s home in the United Kingdom. He said the following:
“We are concerned about the way Barclays is handling this. “I could not believe we were getting a cold call telling us they were leaving us without banking services.”
An FCA representative said that lenders have the prerogative to set their own criteria regarding the domicile of account holders, while still complying with relevant national legislation and regulations when providing services to consumers residing outside the UK.
“Whether banks decide or not to extend their services to customers outside the UK is a commercial decision for them, but we expect them to treat their customers fairly, comply with equality legislation and properly notify the customer if they decide close your business account”, the representative said.
Barclays Backs Cryptocurrencies
Despite the continuing series of bankruptcies in the cryptocurrency market, Barclays invested in Copper, one of the most recognized companies in the sector, in July last year.
Barclays expresses a favorable outlook regarding the long-term sustainability of bitcoin (BTC). That same year, the British lender expressed its perspective on Core Scientific, a bitcoin miner, considering it a “top option” to take advantage of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
By Leonardo Pérez