Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
bobscott
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Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby bobscott » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:51 pm

Just got this from the FCO in the UK:

Money

Changes to Barclays Bank accounts

British nationals living in Greece who are affected by Barclays Bank’s decision to close their UK Barclays Bank accounts where they hold funds of less than £100,000 should call Barclays’ Specialist Team on +44 (0) 191 541 2000 for advice. Those in receipt of a UK state pension can also contact the International Pension Centre to discuss pension payment options. The British Embassy can’t advise or help individuals with private financial matters. You may wish to seek independent financial advice.

So the B*****s are at it again!

Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

margarita
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Location: Kalyves area

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby margarita » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:32 pm

I showed 'em, Bob.

I've just been on their website and emptied my accounts - £2.65 from one account and £0.24p from the other.

That'll learn 'em not to mess with ex-pats.

They'll be sorry when I win my million on Premium Bonds and they don't get it.

bobscott
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Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby bobscott » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:42 am

margarita wrote:I showed 'em, Bob.

I've just been on their website and emptied my accounts - £2.65 from one account and £0.24p from the other.

That'll learn 'em not to mess with ex-pats.

They'll be sorry when I win my million on Premium Bonds and they don't get it.


Brilliant Maggie! Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

allan
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Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby allan » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:30 am

Not much fun for those who use Barclays as their daily bank.

Confirmation from Barclays Specialist team, yes they are closing the accounts.

Any body have a good Greek Bank with good i-banking and a simple translation?

Allan

filippos
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Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby filippos » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:11 am

allan wrote:Any body have a good Greek Bank with good i-banking and a simple translation?
Are there any left? They're all in trouble that can only get worse if there's any problem with the latest 'rescue' deal in the EZ.

That said, Piraeus is probably as good as any. We've been with them since Bank of Cyprus was taken over and have had good service and no problems at branches.

Their Internet banking I find very good, easy to use, and everything most people will need is available in English (choose language before sign in). The only slight niggle I have is that, on-line, you can't transfer funds from, say, your account in GBP to your account in €€€: you have to do that at a branch (not a problem for me as there's a branch 200m away) and they do have a fair spread of branches.
They say they're going to fix that when the website is updated (whenever that might be) and it would have been done when taking over BoC but their systems apparently weren't compatible so that function was low priority.

Kilkis
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Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:48 am

I agree with Filippos that all the Greek banks are on shaky footing but I don't see how you can exist in Greece without one. I think all the four big banks, Alpha Bank, Eurobank, NBG and Piraeus all have good internet banking in English now. I use Alpha Bank, which was one of the first to provide an all English internet banking service, and have never had any major problem although it did take a rather long time to provide me with a new second password generator when the battery died on the old one. Personally I never have less than two accounts with two completely independent banks because I don't trust banks. I chose Alpha because of its good internet banking and, since it is one of the four large systemic banks, I chose one of the smaller cooperative banks as the second one. It is also worth having an account with a bank that has an ATM/branch that is convenient to your location.

Warwick

TweetTweet
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Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby TweetTweet » Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:55 pm

allan wrote:Not much fun for those who use Barclays as their daily bank.

Confirmation from Barclays Specialist team, yes they are closing the accounts.

Any body have a good Greek Bank with good i-banking and a simple translation?

Allan


Barclays Isle of Man closed my account last February - they initially said they would close it by end of July 2014 but agreed to an extension because I told them I needed a UK bank but as a non UK rersident it was extremey difficult to open an account. I also told them that their decision to close my account was causing me extreme stress and was against the spirt of the European Directive re discrimination on the grounds of residency (thank you Warwick for all your amazing information). The Barclays Bastards also took into *custody* my funds despite having been advised of where to send them ...*custody* = a suspense account where they get something on the dosh and also hang out the process of getting it released by insisting that I send lawyer/notarised paperwork .....grrrrr!

In the end I managed to open a basic account in the UK with the Clydesdale - I had to present myself in person to open the account but so far, they are a pleasure to deal with. I spit with avengence in the general direction of Piraeus et al because I spit with the same to Samaras.

As far as I know, Clydesdale offer internet and telephone banking. (I only wanted the debit card facility - that has saved my bacon recently).

Their telephone no is 00 44 141 951 7320.

Apparently they are Australian owned and operate from Scotland and also are linked with the Yorkshire Bank. I first heard about them here I think so thank you to whoever that was!

allan
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Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby allan » Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:29 pm

Thank you Warwick and Fillipos, I suppose there are only the 4 Banks here in Greece that are still surviving, just.

Visited Alpha Bank today and realised that it is so difficult to open an account (especially for us ex-pats) they have rules and laws to protect Greece from money laundering and terrorism financing purposes.

I was given an English pamphlet stating what is and what isn`t accepted to open an account and the Legal Legislation relating to the same. (Seems this applies to all the banks)

As you say Warwick, how can I survive in Greece without a greek bank account.

bobscott
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Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby bobscott » Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:59 pm

Warwick. Sent you a pm on a different topic. Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
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Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:52 pm

The four banks I quoted are NOT the only four banks still surviving in Greece, Allan. There is a full list here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_banks_in_Greece They are simply the four biggest and all have web banking in English which was your criterion. They are what are regarded as the systemic banks. Cooperative Bank of Chania is quite good but doesn't have English web banking. I think Filippos said a while ago that Pan Cretan Cooperative bank does have English web banking but there was a bit of a trick to access it. These two are part of the wider cooperative bank movement that are Crete based. The other cooperative banks on the Wiki list are based in other parts of Greece. You can also see that there are a number of international banks with branches in Greece BUT as far as I know they only have branches in Athens. I have found that it is inevitable that at some time you will have to do something in your own branch so it is important that your branch is not too remote.

I'm surprised you found it difficult to open an account with Alpha bank. I have found opening an account in Greece much easier than in the UK. All I needed was my passport and a tax number. They did ask for a residence permit but I said that I was an EU citizen so didn't need one and that seemed to work. The last time I opened one from scratch was a long time ago but I opened a new account at a local branch in 2012 with no problems. You can't transfer accounts from branch to branch like you can in the UK nor can you simply take a name off an account when one of the parties dies. You have to open a new account, transfer the funds etc then close the old one.

Warwick

YoMo2
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Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby YoMo2 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:18 am

Kilkis wrote:.......The last time I opened one from scratch was a long time ago.........


Clearly. It's just as bad as the UK now.

Andrew

Kilkis
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Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:04 am

It would be interesting to know what conditions you need to fulfil today?

Warwick

allan
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Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby allan » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:54 am

Just returned from Eurobank,
same answer, not just ex-pats, even Greeks cannot open a new account at the moment.

Kilkis
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Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:15 pm

Presumably this is just an artefact of the capital controls then, not anything to do with opening accounts under normal circumstances?

Warwick

allan
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Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby allan » Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:59 pm

Yes it seems so Warwick.


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