Many British residents in Spain have been receiving letters from their banks in the UK advising that their current accounts and credit cards will be closed before Brexit is completed at the end of this year. Only those who can show they have a UK address may be exempted from the move, although individual banks are reported to be taking different courses of action.
Experts say the problem has arisen because of the so-called “passporting” arrangements which have allowed British banks to provide services to clients in the EEA (Europe Economic Area, which includes the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) without having to seek individual authorisations from each country. This arrangement is presently set to end on December 31, meaning that each British bank will have to apply to every country separately if it wants the arrangement with it to continue, a process which will inevitably incur additional costs.
Some banks have already notified their customers in Spain advising them of the closures, while others are reported to be monitoring the situation. It appears at this stage that some have already decided that it is not financially worthwhile to continue supporting their British customers who are resident outside the UK.