Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
scooby

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby scooby » Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:16 pm

Barclays would love nothing more than to close my account as I get 6% interest but they accept the fact that we made an agreement for me to invest for a 6 year term which ends October 2016, they have phoned and said to keep an account I will need to double my savings with them, but by that time I will have changed address to the UK :wink:

YoMo2
Posts: 1161
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:07 am
Location: Milatos, Lasithi

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby YoMo2 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:55 am

Kilkis wrote:It would be interesting to know what conditions you need to fulfil today? Warwick


There is a Greek Bankers Association leaflet in Greek and English that spells out exactly what is needed. Should be available in any bank branch.

As with all these things, it contains lots of ambiguity and lack of clarity, leading to massive scope for different interpretations in different banks.

Andrew

Ros21
Posts: 150
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 5:50 pm
Location: Kerasia

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby Ros21 » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:19 pm

There is a petition that has been set up, if anyone is interested! https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/105378

Kilkis
Posts: 11083
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:43 pm

I had to go into the bank this morning to pick up my new bank card. Yes, it has finally arrived after 12 weeks.

The situation with opening Greek bank accounts is a bit more complicated than has been presented so far. Greeks who need to have their salary paid into a bank can still open a new bank account but they are about the only people who can. Before capital controls, some employers would go to the bank, draw out enough money to pay their workers and then pay them out in cash. Obviously, with the current capital controls this is not possible. The only way they can pay their workers is by bank transfer but many workers never bothered to have an account. New accounts can be opened to resolve this problem. Of course this does not apply to ex-pats. The banks have no idea when this restriction will be lifted.

Warwick

bobscott
Posts: 2554
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:36 pm
Location: Kokkino Horio

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby bobscott » Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:33 pm

There does seem to be some merit in this method of paying wages. At least it is on record what has been paid. A bit less easy to fiddle tax. Perhaps they will never lift the restriction. Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

filippos
Posts: 5716
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Kalyves
Contact:

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby filippos » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:39 pm

That was my first thought, too, Bob.

Kilkis
Posts: 11083
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:54 pm

I have no problem with wages being paid directly into bank accounts. I was paid in cash in a sealed envelope when I worked as a student during the summer in a laundry. I was paid in cash, actually counted out in front of everybody, when I worked on Christmas post, again as a student. Other than that I have been paid directly into the bank for all my working life in the UK. In Greece I sometimes had money paid into my account and sometimes given in cash.

What I don't understand is why they need to restrict other people from opening bank accounts? If an ex-pat, whose income arises outside Greece but who is living in Greece, needs an account to have money transferred into from abroad so that they can live, how does that pose a threat to the Greek economy? What purpose is served by stopping them opening a bank account?

Warwick

bobscott
Posts: 2554
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:36 pm
Location: Kokkino Horio

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby bobscott » Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:51 am

Similarly, why restrict the amount of money one can transfer into Greece from overseas. Alpha bank has suddenly imposed a limit (just over a couple of K euros) on the amount I can bring in from my UK account in any one transaction! Crackers. Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
Posts: 11083
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:26 am

I believe I may have obtained some clarification regarding what is happening with Barclays accounts where the account holder has an address in Greece. A friend with an account at Barclays has a Relationship Manager and he has contacted him on behalf of another friend who was worried about the situation. He received the following information in writing:

Basically you can divide Barclays accounts into two groups, International Accounts and UK Domestic Accounts. The International Accounts are administered through one of Barclays offshore subsidiaries in the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey. UK Domestic Accounts are registered at a branch in the UK. You can recognise these because they will have a UK sort code and statements will often show the branch.

The current forced closure of accounts with less than £100,000 invested applies ONLY to International Accounts. It is quite possible that letters stating that the account must be closed because you have less than £100,000 invested have also been MISTAKENLY sent out to holders of UK Domestic Accounts if the holder has a Greek address. If you are a holder of a UK Domestic Account registered to your Greek address and you have received such a letter then challenge it. If you are the holder of an International Account you cannot simply convert it to a UK Domestic Account BUT you can open a UK Domestic Account with Barclays registered to your Greek address providing you go into a Barclays branch in the UK with your passport and a utility bill. Perhaps worth taking a couple of bills and any other official documents with your Greek address on them.

Good luck.

Warwick

SteveH
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:17 pm

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby SteveH » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:26 am

An article in the Guardian about a similar situation with none UK resident HSBC customer.

HSBC has closed my UK and expat bank accounts but refuses to say why

bobscott
Posts: 2554
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:36 pm
Location: Kokkino Horio

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby bobscott » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:01 pm

Warwick - as I started this off, I have asked FCo to check their facts and confirm that is Domestic accounts and not Offshore accounts that are affected. Will let you know what happens idc. Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

filippos
Posts: 5716
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Kalyves
Contact:

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby filippos » Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:43 pm

Kilkis wrote:.... BUT you can open a UK Domestic Account with Barclays registered to your Greek address providing you go into a Barclays branch in the UK with your passport and a utility bill. Perhaps worth taking a couple of bills ........
Let's hope Barclays domestic is less difficult than Barclays International. We were initially welcomed by the International outfit (minimum deposit was £50k in 2008) until it came to acceptable documentation - ID was no problem but proof of address was a nightmare. Having sold our house here and started renting the main utility bills were in the landlords name so unacceptable. The only one we had was an OTE (fixed line) bill. "Sorry, we don't accept 'phone bills".

"How about Barclays Bank statements that are mailed to our current Greek address?" "Sorry, we don't accept Barclays Bank documentation".
Other stuff they refused to accept, all things mailed to our Greek address, included letters and documents from HMRC, letters from The Pensions Service, a letter from the British Embassy in Athens and various other stuff that I no longer remember. They would have accepted original, printed statements that had been mailed to us from other banks or credit card companies but not statements downloaded from Internet banking. The only one we could produce was refused because it was not an account in joint names and was, therefore, addressed to only one of us.

We gave up, had an enjoyable three days city break in Zurich and came home with three accounts (all with zero balances) into which we could transfer funds as soon as Internet banking had been organised. That took about 40 minutes of our break, half of which was organising coffee and bikkies. They did not ask for any proof of address and were completely unsurprised that we'd had problems with a UK based bank .... "They are the most difficult to deal with". I think they assumed we'd give a genuine address as they'd be sending, separately by mail, PINs, cards and an access security device.

Just make absolutely certain you have documents they will accept.

Kilkis
Posts: 11083
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:07 pm

To clarify, my previous post simply reports what my friend was told by his Relationship Manager. I can offer no guarantees as to its accuracy, although Relationship Managers are fairly senior, have good access to information and this particular one seems to be very professional judging by how he has dealt with other issues. Nor can I guarantee that it will be simple to open an account. I think my opinion of Barclays is well known. I just thought it might be useful information for those who are experiencing a problem.

I can understand that a Swiss bank account could be very useful as a place to park savings, given its "Safe Haven" reputation but I don't think it would be that useful for day to day financial activities in the UK.

Warwick

filippos
Posts: 5716
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Kalyves
Contact:

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby filippos » Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:53 pm

I didn't suggest that Swiss accounts would be any use for day to transactions in the UK: see my opening sentence.

"Let's hope Barclays domestic is less difficult than Barclays International."

Kilkis
Posts: 11083
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Barclays closing accounts for UK expats in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:03 pm

filippos wrote:..."Let's hope Barclays domestic is less difficult than Barclays International."


I definitely wouldn't place any bets on that.

Warwick


Return to “Chatter”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests