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Some UK banks start to withdraw accounts from UK citizens in the EU

Financial discussion for any financial queries for Expats
Spet0789
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Re: Some UK banks start to withdraw accounts from UK citizens in the EU

#342029

Postby Spet0789 » September 22nd, 2020, 6:45 pm

mc2fool wrote:
Spet0789 wrote:
mc2fool wrote:But that's exactly my point, we're talking about a non EU member (yes, I understand how directives and regulations work).


Uh? How is that an analogy? That's all in the same country, but what we're talking about is banking outside of your country of residence. Nationality is irrelevant, only residence, I am a person with a British address with a bank account in the USA with a US bank, and the analogy would be a person with a French address with a bank account in the UK with a UK bank. That is what we're talking about, isn't it?

In any case, I am a bit surprised that there are (apparently) still so may UK expats with UK accounts (with non-UK addresses at least). Non-UK residents opening/keeping UK accounts has been increasingly difficult since 9/11 and the KYC (know your customer) and money laundering laws that ensued, and with the UK banks pushing their non-UK resident customers offshore to their Channel Islands/Isle of Man branches.

Not quite. What we are talking about is banking outside your country of residence with a bank which has no authorisations to provide banking services in the place where you use those banking services.

Just like my US bank then.


What banking services do you use outside the US? What address do they record for you?

mc2fool
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Re: Some UK banks start to withdraw accounts from UK citizens in the EU

#342032

Postby mc2fool » September 22nd, 2020, 7:11 pm

Spet0789 wrote:
mc2fool wrote:
Spet0789 wrote:Not quite. What we are talking about is banking outside your country of residence with a bank which has no authorisations to provide banking services in the place where you use those banking services.

Just like my US bank then.

What banking services do you use outside the US? What address do they record for you?

Not a lot nowadays, although I do still use it for receiving Amazon US and Amazon Canada revenue from adverts and links to those sites on my UK websites. The address they have for me is my home address in the UK, and as that's where I live then, by definition, the UK is the place where I use those banking services.

stevensfo
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Re: Some UK banks start to withdraw accounts from UK citizens in the EU

#342034

Postby stevensfo » September 22nd, 2020, 8:19 pm

mc2fool wrote:
Spet0789 wrote:
In any case, I am a bit surprised that there are (apparently) still so may UK expats with UK accounts (with non-UK addresses at least). Non-UK residents opening/keeping UK accounts has been increasingly difficult since 9/11 and the KYC (know your customer) and money laundering laws that ensued, and with the UK banks pushing their non-UK resident customers offshore to their Channel Islands/Isle of Man branches.


I'm not surprised in the least. People these days are more clued up about what is legal and what is a bank rule that may or not be enforced or ignored by the client. As for KYC, I prefer KYB (Bank) since a quick internet search soon shows who the real AML villains are. How many companies, apart from banks, are fined millions? People these days are becoming more nomadic and the old rules about 'residence' haven't kept up. Just look across various countries about the definitions of 'residence' , 'residence for tax purposes' and 'domiciled'. It's a mess.

I know a very charming British woman, 83, who usually migrates from the UK to Arizona and then Malta, though she said that they tend to stick to Cornwall and Malta now due to age.

I'm a Brit working in Italy and still have a french account opened over 30 years ago and all my UK accounts. The year is 2020, not 1820!

Steve

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Re: Some UK banks start to withdraw accounts from UK citizens in the EU

#342038

Postby mc2fool » September 22nd, 2020, 8:46 pm

stevensfo wrote:
mc2fool wrote:In any case, I am a bit surprised that there are (apparently) still so may UK expats with UK accounts (with non-UK addresses at least). Non-UK residents opening/keeping UK accounts has been increasingly difficult since 9/11 and the KYC (know your customer) and money laundering laws that ensued, and with the UK banks pushing their non-UK resident customers offshore to their Channel Islands/Isle of Man branches.

I'm not surprised in the least. People these days are more clued up about what is legal and what is a bank rule that may or not be enforced or ignored by the client. As for KYC, I prefer KYB (Bank) since a quick internet search soon shows who the real AML villains are. How many companies, apart from banks, are fined millions? People these days are becoming more nomadic and the old rules about 'residence' haven't kept up. Just look across various countries about the definitions of 'residence' , 'residence for tax purposes' and 'domiciled'. It's a mess.

I know a very charming British woman, 83, who usually migrates from the UK to Arizona and then Malta, though she said that they tend to stick to Cornwall and Malta now due to age.

I'm a Brit working in Italy and still have a french account opened over 30 years ago and all my UK accounts. The year is 2020, not 1820!

Steve

And your UK banks have your address in Italy as your address?

If so, I'm surprised and you're lucky. I know lots of UK expats who had their UK bank give them the choice of being transferred to the bank's Channel Islands branch or closing their account, and certainly no high street UK bank will let you open an account if you give them a non-UK address. It's not a matter of legality, it's a business decision on their part.

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Re: Some UK banks start to withdraw accounts from UK citizens in the EU

#342045

Postby mc2fool » September 22nd, 2020, 9:09 pm

mc2fool wrote:
stevensfo wrote:I'm a Brit working in Italy and still have a french account opened over 30 years ago and all my UK accounts. The year is 2020, not 1820!

And your UK banks have your address in Italy as your address?

Ah, I see you've already answered that question earlier in the thread, when you said, "I'm pretty sure that most Brits in the EU will have learned long ago, as I did, that you never, ever tell any bank that you're not in the UK", and as you can see if you look back, I had already made that qualification.

To repeat, I am a bit surprised that there are (apparently) still so may UK expats with UK accounts (with non-UK addresses at least), which is clearly what this thread is referring to, not to people living elsewhere who the bank believes are in the UK.

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Re: Some UK banks start to withdraw accounts from UK citizens in the EU

#342063

Postby stevensfo » September 22nd, 2020, 10:47 pm

mc2fool wrote:
stevensfo wrote:
mc2fool wrote:And your UK banks have your address in Italy as your address?

If so, I'm surprised and you're lucky. I know lots of UK expats who had their UK bank give them the choice of being transferred to the bank's Channel Islands branch or closing their account, and certainly no high street UK bank will let you open an account if you give them a non-UK address. It's not a matter of legality, it's a business decision on their part.


No I am not lucky. I don't know anybody so naive and we all know how difficult it is to open an account, so that's why we never close an account.

As you say, It's not a matter of legality, it's a business decision on our part.


Steve

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Re: Some UK banks start to withdraw accounts from UK citizens in the EU

#342071

Postby mc2fool » September 22nd, 2020, 11:17 pm

stevensfo wrote:
mc2fool wrote:And your UK banks have your address in Italy as your address?

If so, I'm surprised and you're lucky. I know lots of UK expats who had their UK bank give them the choice of being transferred to the bank's Channel Islands branch or closing their account, and certainly no high street UK bank will let you open an account if you give them a non-UK address. It's not a matter of legality, it's a business decision on their part.

No I am not lucky. I don't know anybody so naive and we all know how difficult it is to open an account, so that's why we never close an account.

The affected expats I knew weren't naive, the banks changed the rules on them. It didn't used to be a problem, I was an expat for a couple of decades in three different countries and didn't have to lie about where I lived, always gave UK banks my actual address in the country I was resident in and never had a problem. But that was all last century. It was the post 9/11 KYC laws that resulted in expats I knew being pushed to the CI/IoM (it didn't affect me as I've been UK resident this century).

Anyway, seems we're in agreement -- I''m surprised that there are still so may UK expats with UK accounts with non-UK addresses and you don't know any expats that give UK banks their non-UK addresses, which boils down to the same thing. ;) There are obviously though still a fair number, or this wouldn't be a story!

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Re: Some UK banks start to withdraw accounts from UK citizens in the EU

#342126

Postby JamesMuenchen » September 23rd, 2020, 9:11 am

I find that it's harder and harder to operate a UK account from abroad anyway.

I have two that can run more or less as they are, but if I try to do anything like make a payment to a new payee then I hit trouble.

One wants to send a code to a UK phone number and the other one wants me to use a card-reader that always has a dead battery whenever I actually need it, so I have to order a new one.

More and more I am using my Transferwise account for banking. You can open sub-accounts with a dedicated IBAN number in whatever currency you want to use and get payments in that way. I've used it to get paid in dollars, euros and pounds from different contracts.

And of course, transferring between your different currencies is cheap and easy.

It's not a real current account though, so payments out have to be done manually.

It might be an option for people who are just collecting pension income or something.

https://transferwise.com/gb/multi-currency-account/
Get paid with your own bank details. Anyone can use them to pay you like a local. You can hold more than 50 currencies at once, and convert between them in seconds.

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Re: Some UK banks start to withdraw accounts from UK citizens in the EU

#342173

Postby JonE » September 23rd, 2020, 10:42 am

mc2fool wrote:I''m surprised that there are still so may UK expats with UK accounts with non-UK addresses
Yeah, I find it surprising how many Brits over here have accounts with UK banks to which they've provided their non-UK residential address - but they are mostly long-term residents and retired. There have been indications that problems can arise with doing this (e.g. local operation of UK bank ceasing in 2015 and closing sub-100k accounts leaving many without sterling accounts) but I guess it's all too easy to snooker oneself by innocently notifying banks when first notifying HMRC, DWP et al.

Mention has been made of not advising banks of one's non-UK residential address but I took the view when relocating that this should be extended by ensuring that the address can't leak onto one's CRA files via other routes.

As an aside, I wonder if the historic differences between current and deposit account treatments was to do with the latter not having any overdraft potential and therefore not being a product involving the provision of credit. I also wonder if more recent refusal to open accounts of any type for non-residents may, beyond AML and similar, have some connection with the FSCS and limiting the scope of the guarantee.

Cheers!

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Re: Some UK banks start to withdraw accounts from UK citizens in the EU

#342175

Postby stevensfo » September 23rd, 2020, 10:44 am

mc2fool wrote:
Anyway, seems we're in agreement -- I''m surprised that there are still so may UK expats with UK accounts with non-UK addresses and you don't know any expats that give UK banks their non-UK addresses, which boils down to the same thing. ;) There are obviously though still a fair number, or this wouldn't be a story!


Sorry, I probably missed the 'with non-UK addresses' part. Yes, there are still people who tell their banks everything. I think it's because it's the first time they've worked abroad and are so excited with long lists of things to do that they never consider the wider implications. The only account I've had closed was one that was dormant for too long, so all my fault. The banks seem to vary a lot in their approach. Years ago, I thought a cashier in the Halifax was going to call the police when I mentioned I was working outside the UK. She was probably a Daily Mail reader, so naturally assumed I was a terrorist, people-trafficker and money-launderer. ;) Other banks just required an address in the UK but didn't give a monkey's where I was actually working. I guess all that's changing.

Steve

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Re: Some UK banks start to withdraw accounts from UK citizens in the EU

#342178

Postby stevensfo » September 23rd, 2020, 10:56 am

JamesMuenchen wrote:I find that it's harder and harder to operate a UK account from abroad anyway.

I have two that can run more or less as they are, but if I try to do anything like make a payment to a new payee then I hit trouble.

One wants to send a code to a UK phone number and the other one wants me to use a card-reader that always has a dead battery whenever I actually need it, so I have to order a new one.

More and more I am using my Transferwise account for banking. You can open sub-accounts with a dedicated IBAN number in whatever currency you want to use and get payments in that way. I've used it to get paid in dollars, euros and pounds from different contracts.

And of course, transferring between your different currencies is cheap and easy.

It's not a real current account though, so payments out have to be done manually.

It might be an option for people who are just collecting pension income or something.

https://transferwise.com/gb/multi-currency-account/
Get paid with your own bank details. Anyone can use them to pay you like a local. You can hold more than 50 currencies at once, and convert between them in seconds.


I use Revolut more than Transferwise simply because I find the app a lot easier, but I agree that they're very useful things to have. However, what I like about Transferwise is being able to do a lot on the website rather than the phone. They're 'Electronic Money Institutions' so no FSCS guarantee and I would never dream of keeping large sums with them. The euro-pound exchange rates are amazing and I calculated that they're about 3.5% better than my real bank. Another one is Monese, but unlike the others, they issue a separate debit card for euros and pounds.

A quich internet search reveals there are now loads of these 'fintech banks' around. It will be interesting to see how many are still there in a few years.

Steve


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