Barclaycard stopping cards for residents in France

The Connexion has heard from many readers concerned after being told Brexit means their Barclaycards will be cancelled because they live in France.

14 September 2020
By Liv Rowland

The popular British credit card provider has been writing to its customers who live in France telling them that, linked to the UK leaving the EU, accounts will be closed for those without a UK residential address.

It must be your address and they cannot accept PO Boxes, Barclays branch addresses or having the mail sent ‘care of’ another person, the customers were told.

The emails added that the bank had already warned customers earlier in the year that leaving the EU could affect its customers with addresses abroad in the European Economic Area.

A spokeswoman confirmed to The Connexion: “Customers whose Barclaycard is not linked to a UK residential address will have their account closed on November 16, 2020 if they don’t provide us with a UK residential address before then.”

Those who do in fact have a UK residence can do this by logging into their Barclaycard online servicing account to update the details, she said.

She added: “If a customer’s account is closed, we will carry on sending statements until they’ve paid off their outstanding balance and they will still be able to access their account via Barclaycard online servicing.”

The spokeswoman said they had written to the customers in September so they would have time to prepare and they would be emailed again several days prior to their cards being blocked, if they were not able to provide a UK address.

One reader from Paris, Grazia Valentino, said she had held a card for at least 30 years. “Thanks Brexit, yet something else you’re removing from me,” she wrote.

She added: “Having a card allowed me to manage any expenses in the UK. I could put purchases, etc on it and then, when the bill was due, juggle my sterling funds in my bank account to pay it. This allowed me to keep less money in the non-interest bearing current account.

“I'll manage without it but it offered a level of convenience to my trips to the UK.”

One of several readers who emailed to say they had had Barclaycards for many years while living in France, Mark Smyth, from Maine-et-Loire, said: "I have had that card for decades and Barclaycard has been aware that since 2013 I have been resident in France.

"Although I am retired and fiscally resident in France, all of my income (pensions etc) are derived in the UK. I still have family ties there and visit often so having a sterling credit card is extremely useful."

Other readers said they were also worried about any changes that may be on the way regarding their current accounts at UK banks. We have asked several leading banks if any changes regarding services or the right to hold accounts, are planned.

The Connexion has previously reported (see below) how the private bank Coutts is stopping services to customers in the EU, linked to the fact that the UK is leaving the EU's financial passporting system which makes it simpler for them to provide services to people across the EU.

The British Bankers Association has also stated that unless the UK and EU sign a wide-ranging new banking agreement - which has not yet happened - UK banks will face significant regulatory barriers to providing cross-border banking and investment services to EU-based clients.

There is as yet, however, no indication that leading high street British banks intend to close current accounts of residents in France.

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