Brexit threat to reader’s life insurance ‘security’

Cancelling accounts for Britons in the EU could have knock-on effects, such as life insurance policy validity

30 October 2020
Martin Stannard
By Connexion journalist

Some UK banks are threatening to cancel accounts of Britons in the EU – and one reader spoke of personal consequences concerning a life insurance plan.

Martin Stannard, 61, from Brittany, said his Barclaycard credit card has been cancelled linked to Brexit and he fears his current account could follow, meaning he will be unable to keep paying into his life insurance plan, on which he relies.

Barclays and Coutts said they will stop bank account services to Britons in France unless a wide-ranging UK/EU agreement is made on financial services. Another bank, NatWest Group (including Royal Bank of Scotland) did not respond to The Connexion’s queries about its plans, so it is not clear if it will do the same.

Mr Stannard, a retired car dealership manager, said: “I have life insurance with a UK-based company and product and I asked if I’m covered after Brexit.

“They said as long as I pay from a UK account, then it’s OK, but if I can’t, it’s null and void.”

The policy is set up to make a large pay-out on the first death of him or his partner and is important for their security, he said. He retired early due to ill health and did not accrue as much pension as he had hoped.

“I took it out a long time ago so the premiums are affordable,” he said.

The Connexion asked leading UK banks if they allow Britons in France to open new accounts.

Read more: Can I open a new UK bank account from France?

HSBC confirmed they may open an Advance account – an everyday current account – plus a new savings one if a current account is held.

It also offers “basic accounts” and “expat” ones. It expects it will remain possible to open them next year but the situation is under review.

Barclays confirmed it is still possible to open a basic account but, as with its other accounts, closures are possible.

Until the end of the year, an EU directive on basic accounts remains in force, meaning it should also still – in theory – be possible to open accounts at banks including Lloyds and the NatWest Group.

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