British expats in EU ‘must be given sufficient warning if bank accounts close’

British expats living in EU countries must be given sufficient warning by UK banks if they decide to terminate their accounts, the head of a powerful committee of MPs has said.

Mel Stride, chairman of the Treasury Committee, has written to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ask it what time period it would consider sufficient.

It follows reports that customers of UK banks living in the European Union have received letters informing them that their current accounts will be closed once the transition period with the EU ends on December 31 2020.

Mr Stride has asked Chris Woolard, interim chief executive of the FCA to set out expectations for how much notice firms must provide such customers with should they decide to close their customers’ accounts.

Mr Stride has also asked the FCA how it intends to make sure firms provide customers with sufficient notice prior to account closures, to allow those affected to make suitable arrangements.

Commenting on the correspondence, Mr Stride said: “Many British expats in the EU are being told that their UK bank accounts will be terminated at the end of the year.

“It’s vital that they’re given sufficient warning so that they have time to make alternative arrangements.

“I’ve asked the FCA what length of notice period it considers sufficient, and how they make sure that firms adhere to it.”