Bank accounts set to close as Brexit transition period ends today – will you be affected?

Boris Johnson signs Brexit trade deal with EU

Bank accounts are used by millions of people for important financial decisions, and in addition, they are vital for business owners. Yesterday, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed the Brexit trade deal, as MPs in the House of Commons voted in its favour. However, despite the deal now being done, there are some changes which are on the horizon.

The UK in a Changing Europe initiative confirmed the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) does not, and was not intended to, make provisions for financial services firms in the UK to access the single market.

Consequently, from New Year’s Day, January 1, 2021, financial services firms are set to lose their passporting rights.

Passporting rules have been in place to allow UK banks to trade as part of the European Economic Area (EEA).

But now the transition period is coming to a close, passporting is no longer in place and the UK is not subject to the same regulations at the EU.

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This means from January, a whole new set of rules will kick in, with some providers stating they will no longer be able to provide the offerings they have before to UK customers in EU countries.

From January 1, 2021, lenders will be required to have country specific licences to provide certain products, including bank accounts.

As such, some have written to affected UK customers who are living in the European Union, in recent months, to inform them of account closures.

Lloyds Banking Group has confirmed to that its position on the matter remains unchanged.

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The group wrote to approximately 13,000 customers in August to advise them their accounts would be closing.

These closures will vary by country and product, but correspondence with customers confirmed they will need to take action.

Those affected are retail – personal – customers living in the Netherlands and Slovakia, as well as business banking customers in the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Portugal.

A spokesperson told “We have written to a small number of customers living in affected EU countries to let them know that due to the UK’s exit from the EU, regrettably we will no longer be able to provide them with some UK-based banking services.

“We want to keep customers informed and offer advice on next steps.” also reached out to Nationwide to confirm whether its plans remain the same.

The building society previously stated: “As is the case with a number of UK-based financial services providers, due to changing rules regarding UK accounts held by those in some EU territories, customers residing in those areas will no longer be able to use their accounts going forward.

“As such, we have had to write to our members in Italy and the Netherlands to let them know that, as a result of the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, we will no longer be able to provide them savings accounts, current accounts or credit cards in their jurisdiction.

“We want to give our members time to make alternative arrangements, in the meantime we will update them with further information as soon as we can.”

Similar correspondence has been received by some customers of Coutts and Barclays in recent weeks and months.

Some accounts from certain providers could be saved if linked to a UK address, however others will be closed for good.

Expats may wish to explore other options, or speak to their current bank about the best way to proceed in these circumstances.

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