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Banking giant Barclays to close all accounts of Brits living in France

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
Banking giant Barclays to close all accounts of Brits living in France
Barclays Bank has written to customers living in France to inform them it will be closing their accounts. Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP

UK nationals living in France have begun to receive letters from their bank telling them that their accounts will be closed, in an apparent post-Brexit change.

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Customers of Barclays Bank who are living in France have been receiving letters telling them that their UK accounts will be closed by the end of the year. There appears not to be an option to register for a different account.

Numerous readers of The Local have contacted us to report receiving either letters or messages in their online banking telling them that their accounts would be closed because of their residency in France.

A Barclays spokesperson told The Local:As a ring fenced bank, our Barclays UK products are designed for customers within the UK.

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“We will no longer be offering services to personal current account or savings customers (excluding ISAs) within the European Economic Area. We are contacting impacted customers to give them advance notice of this decision and outline the next steps they need to take.”  

READ ALSO What are the best UK accounts for Brits living in France?

Customers are being given six months to make alternative arrangements. The changes affect all personal current accounts or savings accounts, but do not affect ISAs, loans or mortgages.

During the Brexit transition period Barclays closed Barclaycard accounts of customers in France, but did not indicate any changes to standard bank accounts.

Around the same time several other British high street banks began closing accounts of British customers who live in the EU, although with the exception of Barclaycard customers in France were largely spared.

The majority of UK nationals who live in France maintain at least one UK bank account - in addition to a French account - sometimes just for savings but others use their accounts regularly to receive income such as pensions or income from rental property or - for remote workers - to receive income for work done in the UK.

Not having a UK bank account can make financial transactions in the UK more complicated or incur extra banking fees.

Since Brexit, the UK banking sector no longer has access to the 'passporting' system which allows banks to operate in multiple EU countries without having to apply for a separate banking licence for each country.

And it seems that many UK high street banks are deciding that the extra paperwork is not worth the hassle and are withdrawing completely from certain EU markets. 

When British banks began withdrawing services from customers in the EU back in 2020, a UK government spokesman told British newspaper The Times that “the provision of banking services is a commercial decision for firms based on a number of factors” so Brits in France probably shouldn't hold their breath for any help from that direction.

We asked an independent financial adviser what the best options are for Brits in France who still need a UK account - you can read the full interview HERE.

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Comments (4)

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Anonymous 2022/07/27 18:10
I live in France; I can supply a UK address (my son"s), so can I open another UK account when I close my Barclays account?
Anonymous 2022/07/25 17:38
So is there any way too have a uk bank account?
Anonymous 2022/07/25 17:34
This is not new news! Barclays contacted me over a year ago, and told me that I could not register my UK bank account to a French address, and that unless I provided a UK address, then the account would be closed. I provided a UK address. It appears that to date they have done this for changes in status, and that now they are doing it for everyone. Yet another example of UK banks demonstrating zero customer service, and having a total focus on cost, cost, cost.
Anonymous 2022/07/25 17:12
i guess everyone will be switching to Transferwise (now known as Wise). I've been using it for years as an American, and is just the easiest and cheapest way to receive funds.

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