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UK bank account warning for ex-pats as Brexit looms

18 November 2020

British expats living in Europe could be stripped of their UK bank accounts in a matter of weeks following the failure of Britain and the EU to agree rules for operating after Brexit.

The stark warning comes from deVere CEO and founder Nigel Green who urged expats to urgently seek alternatives to “sidestep avoidable issues.”

UK banks will no longer be allowed to provide services to customers in the EU without the right banking licences when Britain formally leaves the bloc on 31 December. Currently, bank accounts operate under a ‘passporting’ system which allows banks in the EU to trade freely in any other state in the European Economic Area without the need for more authorisation.

Green says: “To operate without passporting becomes enormously complex, incredibly time-consuming and very expensive for banks. This is the reason why they are ditching many of their customers across Europe – even if they have been with them for decades.

“We only have a matter of weeks until it will become illegal for most UK banks to service many clients in the EU. This will cause considerable disruption for many individuals, families, businesses and other organisations, especially where there are larger deposits, standing orders, regular payments and credit facilities to another bank. I would urge those who could be affected to urgently seek alternatives with providers that already operate under pan-European rules to sidestep avoidable issues.”

Last month, deVere Group said its global money app Vault had experienced a 67% jump in enquiries during the third quarter. It allows users to deposit, store, transfer and exchange money in most major currencies.

Green adds: “There’s a growing need for clients to have borderless access to, and management and use of their money. Challenger banks and fintech firms are stepping up as traditional banks are now having to routinely abandon their customers due to Brexit.”

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