UK Current Bank Account Closing

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fyfin
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UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby fyfin » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:36 pm

We've had a current account with Norwich & Peterborough Building Society for some years now, and it was particularly useful when we moved to Spain, because withdrawals at cash machines here are at the full commercial rate with no commission.
However, today we received a letter stating that they are closing all current accounts as from 31st August 2017 and focusing on mortgages which, of course, is what building societies should be doing anyway.
They had recently been taken over by Yorkshire Building Society who apparently do not offer a current account either.
So, if you are a Spanish resident and this is your only current account you will be in the s**t as you won't be able to open a UK bank account unless you are a UK resident.
Well, at least that's what all the banks I contacted told me. We are lucky that we do have another account and will transfer everything there and hopefully they will not close their current account.
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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby Wicksey » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:07 pm

How do people moving back to the UK manage to open a new current account there? Do they have to wait until they have a rental property or something with bills etc to prove their address? Surely you'd want to set one up before you go back?

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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby fyfin » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:24 pm

Someone just told me that according to the EU you have the right to open a UK bank account if you are a EUresident. I tweeted Santander UK just to see what they would say and they referred me to their website and basically said yes you can have a basic UK sterling bank account. Happy days. http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/co ... dex_en.htm
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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby fyfin » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:36 am

Well, surprise, surprise, when tackled and quoting EU law it seems the banks in UK will offer an account after all. No problem with Santander who were able to offer it right away. RBS firstly said NO and then after being told about the EU law strangely sent me a link which said they offered just such an account http://personal.rbs.co.uk/personal/curr ... s-hub.html . My suspicion is that they all offer such an account , you just have to ask and if refused quote EU law.
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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby fincalospinos » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:49 am

fyfin wrote:Someone just told me that according to the EU you have the right to open a UK bank account if you are a EUresident. I tweeted Santander UK just to see what they would say and they referred me to their website and basically said yes you can have a basic UK sterling bank account. Happy days. http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/co ... dex_en.htm


But what happens after Brexit and we are not EU citizens ?
Hardworking resident !!

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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby fyfin » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:15 pm

Indeed, probably why if you need one, now would be a good time to open an account.
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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby TorreDelAguila » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:25 pm

Another possible reason to apply for EU citizenship, even if UK leaves. The EU has already been petitioned to consider this.
Chris

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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby masterob » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:23 pm

How will "EU Citizenship" enable you to open a UK bank account once the UK has left?

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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby elusive » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:59 pm

I wouldnt see it making any difference as you maybe an EU citizen but the UK isnt in the EU so doesnt come under EU law

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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby brimsham » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:00 pm

I did notice that credit cards are subject to being a UK resident, is this more BS or actual fact.

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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby fyfin » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:09 pm

That may well be right as it only mentions the right to a basic current bank account.
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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby masterob » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:07 pm

Well I lived in Spain for 10 years and as well as a Spanish Bank account and credit card I had a UK Bank account and 2 UK credit/debit cards with no UK address!
Think there is some misinformation being bandied about here.

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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby fyfin » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:29 pm

If you read my first sentence in the original post you will see I agree with that, so not misinformation, possibly a misunderstanding on your part. There is no problem with having a UK bank account, debit card , credit card etc when you live in UK and then If you then decide to move to Spain, for example, there is absolutely no problem with keeping those credit / debit cards etc and letting your bank or building society know that you are living in Spain and have no UK address. I know because we have done it and still have said credit/ debit cards with Nationwide. Of course we also have a Spanish bank account with debit cards. The convenience of a UK current account is for having UK pensions paid in and then choosing when to transfer to the Spanish bank account. UK state pension is a different matter as you get a good exchange rate so that gets paid into the Spanish account.

The problem arises when you want to open a new UK bank account and you don't have a UK address. Up until recently, the answer was "tough - you can't have a UK bank account if you are not resident". I know, because a few years ago I contacted four different banks / building societies and got that answer. Indeed, I would bet if you were to call some of the banks now you would probably get that same answer.

Of course, as I explained, that is not true and because of an EU directive they have to offer a basic current bank account but I found in the case of RBS I had to prompt them. Santander were much more on the ball and offered it right away. It will however be a "basic" current account which is all they have to offer according to the directive.
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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby Unicorn » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:53 pm

I remember that when I sold an apartment and wanted to park money somewhere, Barclays, with whom I have a current account, refused to open a savings account to put it in as I did not have a UK address.

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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby elusive » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:48 pm

I would think a savings account is different. I guess a basic current account is seen as a necessity so is covered by EU law.i asked hmrc about savings accounts before we moved they said there was nothing legally wrong with opening a savings account but it was upto the provider in their terms and conditions

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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby olive » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:45 pm

Masterrob. That might just be inertia on the banks behalf.

i.e. when you changed address (to a Spanish address) it didn't flag it to someone to contact you. Again if you pay off the credit card and use it without issue ( for example not trying to exceed a threshold) then again no flag to a human for intervention.

I have had quite a bit of trouble with the small number of savings accounts I hold. They have between £5 and £100 in them. Dormant for years. Devils own job to close having "moved abroad". Some want notarised copies of passport whilst others sensibly took the request over the phone! I received letters from two where they had my Spanish address asking me to advise my tax position! I must admit I forgot to tell the Spanish tax office of the interest received on £5.63p. Some tightening up of accounts Europe wide no doubt initiative.

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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby fyfin » Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:08 pm

Olive, he didn't mention savings accounts, just credit and debit cards which we also had and all the banks, that I was aware of, were quite happy to let you keep your accounts and debit and credit cards. In fact I still have these now and it's absolutely not an issue. I have had lots of contact with them so they definitely are happy with the situation - no inertia. As I explained the problem might be opening a new account with a different bank and telling them you are not a UK resident.

As regards savings accounts, which, in my opinion, are a complete waste of space, we had three different accounts with the Norwich and Peterborough, one with a passbook which we couldn't close without going to the branch, so we just emptied it, the other two we closed online. Strangely, the letter we received recently said we could keep the savings accounts as it was only current accounts they were closing for everyone, UK residents included.

By the way, the reason I say savings accounts are a waste of time is because the interest rates are so low. My friend has an isa and gets 0.2 %, Barclays offer 0.05% on a reserve account. I know there are better deals around but for my money you might as well buy Premium Bonds which you can now buy online and swap back for cash in the same way. Always a bit of fun checking as well.
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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby olive » Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:26 pm

Yes I realised it was current accounts. Just adding news on savings accounts from my perspective as might help others. I opened them many many years ago in the hope of cashing in on flotations. Some worked very well the rest are dead ducks.

seeing as you mentioned Premium bonds. Can you hold those without a UK address?!

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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby fyfin » Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:51 pm

Actually I held the savings accounts for the same reason but gave up on it in the end. No problem with buying premium bonds with a Spanish address and in fact you often see in the list of winners, address "overseas". The only difference is that as a Spanish resident you are due to pay tax on winnings although I think it's only over a certain value. If you have some spare cash I just think savings are pointless now with such low interest rates.
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Re: UK Current Bank Account Closing

Postby elusive » Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:15 pm

If you are only getting 0.2% on a ISA your friend needs to move it as the best easy access is at least 1%.


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