Thousands of Brit expats in Europe could be 'stripped of their UK bank accounts & credit cards' due to post Brexit rules

TENS of thousands of British expats living in Europe risk having their UK bank accounts closed in weeks due to the rules post-Brexit.

Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts are among the UK banks starting to give notice to expats to warn their accounts will be closed at 11pm on December 31.

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Stalemate between Britain and Europe in ongoing talks over Brexit has left it a "bureaucratic nightmare" for UK banks to provide services to Brits living abroad, reports The Sunday Times.

So many banks are decided to simply pull their services from some EU countries.

The lack of a deal means it is now up to banks to decide which countries they want to continue operating in.

The Treasury has however urged banks to treat customers "fairly" and said pulling accounts is a "commercial decision".

Lloyds Bank confirmed it will pull services from Holland, Slovakia, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Portugal – a move that impacts 13,000 Brits.

Barclays also confirmed bank and credit-card customers living in the EU are being warned their accounts may be closed.

Customers living in Spain, France and Belgium have received notice their Barclaycards will be cancelled on November 16.

Coutts also confirmed it will be no longer serve customers based in the EU, and told Brits they will have to make "alternative arrangements".

Natwest and Santander have said they currently do not have plans to shut down accounts, but are "considering their options".

The government has not yet negotiated post-Brexit banking rules so the current regulations will not apply.


A source told The Sunday Times: "In some cases, continuing to serve customers would be incredibly complex, extremely expensive and very time-consuming, and simply would not make economic sense.

"This is passporting — this is the reality of Brexit.”

After the Britain leaves the EU, under the current legislation it will become illegal for UK banks to provide services to expat customers living in Europe.

And as each of the 27 member states has various different rules, without a blanket agreement it makes it very hard for banks to continue to serve customers.

Boris Johnson has just a month to strike a deal and 102 days before the transition period ends.

The transition period dictated by the Withdrawal Agreement comes to end of 11pm on December 31, and marks Britain's official exit from the EU.

Brexit has hit the rocks as No10 for threatened to break international law by tearing up parts of the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Government intends to pass the Internal Markets Billt hat tears up assurances on state aid and customs checks relating to Northern Ireland which were laid out in the Withdrawal Agreement.

The PM says the emergency powers are needed to stop Brussels from dividing the United Kingdom in the event of a No Deal.

Without them, the EU would be able to put a border down the Irish Sea and stop Britain exporting food to Northern Ireland, he has warned. 

In a major concession to Tory rebels on the Bill, he has agreed the measures will only kick in if MPs vote for them.

But it has sparked a furious backlash globally, with US Presidential hopeful Joe Biden and the EU savaging the hardline tactics.

Mr Johnson as said he doesn't believe Brussels is acting in good faith and is being "abusive" to Britain in the talks.

Despite branding his exit deal “oven ready” last year, Mr Johnson now says he must “ring-fence it to put in watertight bulkheads" to stop any "extreme interpretations" by the EU.

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