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FCA takes “welcome step” in asking banks to warn expats of account closures

There have been reports that customers of UK banks living in the European Union have received letters informing them that their current accounts will be closed once the transition period with the EU ends on 31 December 2020.

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Rt Hon. Mel Stride MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, wrote to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on 29 September asking it to set out how much notice firms should provide should they decide to close customers’ accounts.

The FCA’s response, published yesterday, reports that not all firms are informing customers that their current accounts will be closed. It also states that the FCA wrote to banks last week on the importance of being prepared for the end of the transition period.

Chair's comments 

Commenting on the FCA’s response, Mr Stride yesterday said:

“British expats in the EU must be given fair warning by their UK banks if their accounts are to be closed at the end of the transition period.

“The FCA has now told banks that they should provide timely communications with customers, ensuring that they are treated fairly and provided with sufficient notice to seek alternative arrangements.

“This is a welcome step; the Committee will continue to monitor this situation closely.”

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