Ex-Pat Financial Services After Brexit

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(Newswire.net — January 17, 2020) — For many British ex-pats living in Europe there’s a certain confidence knowing your savings, current account, and other financial products are with banks you’ve known all your life, the big names that help you rest assured that your money is safe and your account will stay open no matter what happens.  But how will Brexit affect that? Can a British bank provide you with a product when you live in Europe? Intasure, the well known insurance brokers have kindly provided us with information on what will happen following Brexit with your financial products and services.

The Current European Union Arrangement

Right now while the UK remains under the European Union British owned financial institutions including banks and insurers all benefit from the European Economic Area passporting arrangement for financial products.  Under that arrangement a British owned company may sell its products and services in other European countries by appointing an agent in that country, opening a branch there, or selling cross border products which are available to customers there.  This has benefitted many ex-pats who have been relieved to find a local Lloyds, RBS or Barclays Bank in the nearest city, opening current accounts, savings accounts and other financial products there.

After Brexit

But with the withdrawal of Britain from the EU that arrangement will no longer be in place.  If you have a product with a UK based financial institution but live abroad, your registered residence is in another European country, you will no longer be able to be provided with that product, or potentially the price of that product will rise dramatically to accommodate taxes and charges.

Thankfully, during the years Brexit has been on the table, the financial institutions have planned for this eventuality.  Barclays for example has expanded its Dublin based subsidiary Barclays Bank Ireland, and switch any affected accounts over to it, so that while Ireland remain in the European Union, customers will be able to continue with their product.  RBS has similarly developed its Netherlands’ based entity NatWest Markets NV to provide European wide products and services.

For insurance products there are very few cross-border products so if you have buildings insurance for a property in Spain its very likely it’s provided by an insurance company based in Spain, because they will have to know the market to provide appropriate cover,  therefore it’s unlikely your cover will be affected. However, it’s always worth checking at your renewal date and switching to a provider you’re confident will be able to provide cover after Brexit.

Travel insurance cover will likewise remain in place for the term, however travel insurance companies expect during the weeks post-Brexit there will be many delays and closure, perhaps cancellations so it may be best to avoid travel during this period, or expect you may need to claim.  So make sure your travel insurance company will cover you for this. It’s always best to check with any of your providers ahead of time, and switch to another provider if necessary to ensure continuity of cover.