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UK bank account closures for expats: here’s what to do next!

This year has thrown many a proverbial spanner in the works for UK expats and no shortage of additional bureaucracy, from the global pandemic and market fluctuation to the ever-nearing possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

In the latest addition to the concerns for thousands of expats, several UK high street banks are contacting their clients to notify that after Brexit deadline day particular accounts, and investment and wealth management services will no longer be available for EEA clients. This leaves British expats with just over 20 days to get their finances into order.

With no guidance or advice as to how best to proceed and continue to protect their financial futures, many are now finding themselves both unsure of what steps to take and overwhelmed by contradictory information and sales-centric solicitation.

To help, Blacktower Financial Management have revealed next steps on how to best protect your finances:

1.     Speak to your bank

The first course of action that you must take is to speak with your bank and ensure that the terms are applicable to your circumstances.

2.    Review your options quickly

Once you have confirmation that you will no longer be serviced with investment solutions, you must review your options as quickly as possible and communicate your plans to your bank, or risk your investments being moved to a custody account and incur corresponding fees.

Additionally, this could cause some delays to execution services further down the line, so it is imperative to act now.

3.    Refrain from any rash decisions

While selling your assets may seem like the quickest solution in a very narrow timeframe, do try to refrain from a knee jerk reaction and any rash choices. The decision to liquidate should not be taken lightly, and especially should not be determined by a deadline beyond your control.

4.    Seek advice from a taxation specialist

There may also be tax implications if you are selling any assets, so it is important to seek advice from a taxation specialist or accountant should you decide to pursue this.

5.    Take this opportunity to review your investments

While being told by banks to essentially move or sell up your investments brings an additional hurdle of personal administration, there is a silver lining to take this opportunity to review your investments and make sure that they are performing in the best way possible for you and your family.

6.    Check where your new provider is regulated

If you do make the decision to move your investments, then do ensure that you check where the provider is regulated and ensure that they are fully MiFID and IDD licensed. This information will be clearly displayed online; a few minutes of background checks on the internet will safeguard you from months, if not years of difficulties if your investments fall into the wrong hands.

We urge our clients to act with both caution and swift pragmatism. Through any long-term investment plan, there will be obstacles and challenges, but there will always be a solution and industry experts to navigate you through any uncertainty.

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