As long-term holders of a UK account with HSBC (and formerly Midland), we have every sympathy with Terry Smith (January).
Having sent a seemingly endless number of correctly filled forms and having finally been assured all was well, my husband tried to effect an online transfer of money from UK to France, only to be informed that there was a ‘problem’. We have no income in France, so these are our living expenses.
Mr Smith informs us that he has – in our opinion wisely – closed his HSBC account; but we should be extremely interested to know where he has transferred his funds within the UK, because it seems that British expats no longer have the right to open a new UK bank account.
Trish Miller, by email
Editor’s note: The Payment Accounts Regulations 2015 say (1) A credit institution must not discriminate against consumers legally resident in the European Union by reason of their nationality or place of residence or by reason of any other ground referred to in Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU when those consumers apply for or access a payment account. (2) The conditions applicable to holding a payment account with basic features must not be discriminatory.
The UK Financial Conduct Authority is responsible for enforcing the regulations.