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Coutts to close accounts of expats in EU

Private bank had to make ‘difficult decision’ amid Brexit uncertainty


UK-based private bank Coutts is writing to its customers based in the European Union as it will no longer be able to operate in the region. 

This is because, once the Brexit transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020, UK financial institutions will not be able to use their passporting rights and do business in the bloc. 

As a result, they are likely to be unable to service clients based in any of the 27 member states. 

This means that any client living in the EU is likely to have their account closed. 

‘Difficult decision’ 

A Coutts spokesperson told International Adviser: “In the event that no alternative to the European Economic Area (EEA) passporting regime for financial services is agreed between the UK and EU, we have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from offering our services to clients who reside in the EEA.  

“We are writing to the small number of clients who may be impacted by these changes, offering support and allowing time to make alternative banking arrangements.  

“Coutts has a dedicated international team who remain committed to servicing the needs of our global international clientele who reside outside the EEA and within the UK.” 

But Coutts is not the only firm moving in this direction. 

IA recently reported that, according to advisory firm Blevins Franks, many British expats living in the EU started receiving similar letters from other UK-based institutions about closing down their accounts, due to the lack of a post-Brexit agreement. 

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