Leading UK bank Barclays has implemented a substantial measure that could potentially result in certain expatriate clients encountering difficulties in accessing their savings and pensions.
On Friday, the bank made an announcement stating that anyone of British nationality residing outside of the United Kingdom will no longer have the option to possess a Barclays UK current or savings account.
Many foreigners who depend on these accounts for their financial transactions may be impacted by this decision.
Account Termination Looms
Barclays is currently issuing notices to its clientele, apprising them of the impending termination of their accounts.
This decision comes as a result of a thorough evaluation of the bank’s international banking services, a process that was set in motion back in 2021.
As part of this evaluation, the bank has taken steps to notify its customers about forthcoming alterations, and they will be provided with ample time to adapt to these changes through a six-month notice period.
For individuals who have embraced an expatriate lifestyle and belong to the affluent segment of customers, Barclays presents an attractive solution: the opportunity to open a global account.
This type of account offers several appealing features, including the convenience of online banking and the flexibility to handle multiple currencies. Nevertheless, it’s important to be aware that 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 customers residing in the United Kingdom. The Financial Conduct Authority has responded, acknowledging that this is a commercial decision within the bank’s prerogative, as banks have the autonomy to establish their own customer criteria.
Crypto market cap is currently at $1.03 trillion. Chart: TradingView.com
Barclays Bank Clients Oppose
Some customers, such as 89-year-old Professor David Barker, who relocated 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 may re-register at their daughter’s UK home.
“We are concerned about the way Barclays is handling it. I couldn’t believe that we would get a cold call telling us we would be debanked.”
A representative from the FCA said lenders have the prerogative to establish their own criteria regarding the domicile of account holders, while still adhering to relevant domestic legislation and regulations when providing services to consumers residing outside the United Kingdom.
“Whether or not banks decide to extend services to customers outside of the UK is a commercial decision for them, but we expect them to treat their customers fairly, comply with equalities legislation, and provide adequate notice to the customer if they decide to close their account,” the representative said.
Barclays Backs Crypto
Despite the continued spate of bankruptcies in the cryptocurrency market, Barclays invested in Copper, one of the most renowned companies in the sector, in July of last year.
Copper offers custody, settlement, and prime broking services to institutional investors that are investing in cryptocurrency assets.
Barclays expresses a favorable outlook regarding the enduring sustainability of bitcoin (BTC) in the long run. In that same year, the British lender voiced its perspective about Core Scientific, a bitcoin miner, deeming it as a “superior choice” for leveraging within the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Featured image from Diginomica