While there are many headlines targeting Brits living in Spain that turn out to be untrue or highly exaggerated, unfortunately headlines that state “Brits living in Spain will have Barclay accounts closed by end of 2022” is not one of them.
That is because the British bank Barclays has officially come out saying the banking giant only offers accounts to people living in the UK and, if you live in Spain, or any other EU country for that matter, your Barclays account will be closed by the end of the year.
The reason for the mass closing of Barclays accounts is said to be UK banks no longer having access to the banking ‘passporting system’ since Brexit. That system allows banks to operate in all EU countries without having to get a separate banking license for each one.
As British banks will now have to apply for a license for each EU country, many have looked at the income they make from British citizens resident in the EU and then compared it to the cost of paying for banking licenses and other fees.
Several, including Barclays, have decided the income of their overseas British customers does not outweigh their costs.
British residents in Spain who do have Barclays accounts are being given six months to look for other alternatives, as this change applies to all private current and savings accounts.
It does not apply to those who have loans, mortgages or ISAs through Barclays, but it will negatively affect anyone who has pensions paid into a Barclays account, or those who have rental income or remote work income/salaries paid into a Barclays bank.
The best alternative for most Brits living in Spain, and the most stable then, is to open a Spanish bank account and make sure all your future payments, including your pension, is set up to be paid into that bank.
Good news for Spanish banks, of course, but not so great for the already struggling British economy.