They would be tens of thousands of British residents on the continent to have to manage the loss of the banking “passport” held by their bank based in the United Kingdom. For their part, the banks assess the costs, before moving towards the most promising markets.
Like Roger Morton and his Scottish wife in the Dordogne, many British expatriates in the EU have been shocked to find out that their UK bank accounts will be closed. In question, the harassments of Brexit for banks soon deprived of access to the European market.
The wife of the 78-year-old retired New Zealand photographer was unpleasantly surprised to receive a letter from Barclaycard, a bank card subsidiary of Barclays, informing her that her account had been closed.
“It’s a drastic decision. It’s more stress at an already stressful time with Brexit and the epidemic,” says Roger Morton. Their account with Barclays, their bank for nearly 40 years, is not affected.
The end of the European banking “passport”
A limited number of Britons are concerned, perhaps a few tens of thousands in several European countries, but this is one of the first direct consequences of Brexit, whose impact on daily life is still not very concrete. two sides of the Channel.
From 1 January, once the transition period has elapsed, banks established in the United Kingdom will be deprived of their European “passport”, a provision of the single market which allows them to offer their services on the continent.
To be able to continue to practice, they will have no choice but to apply for a banking license in an EU country and have a legal entity there.
Administrative complications in perspective which several large banks prefer to avoid, even if it means depriving themselves of customers who do not have an address in the United Kingdom.
“This will obviously create additional costs, so the banks will have to decide which markets are profitable,” says Sarah Hall, professor at the University of Nottingham and member of The UK in a Changing Europe research center.
For Lloyds Bank, one of the largest for individuals in the UK, the choice is made. It will close 13,000 customer accounts in the Netherlands, Slovakia, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Portugal.
“Due to the UK’s exit from the EU, we will regretfully no longer be able to provide some banking services from the UK,” said a spokesperson.
Affected customers should take precautions and ensure that regular deposits or payments made on the account are transferred to another bank.
HSBC and Santander assess the situation
Same thing at Barclays therefore, where the closure depends on the services offered, and which ensures that this only concerns a small number of customers.
Likewise, the very chic Coutts, bank of Queen Elisabeth II and a subsidiary of Natwest, warned its customers in July and set up a dedicated team to support them in their procedures.