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Barclaycard to stop servicing customers based in Portugal on August 6th

4775Barclaycard users living in Portugal have been given until August 6th to supply a residential address acceptable to the bank or their card will be deactivated.

Barclays has offered no detailed explanation for the move that will wipe thousands of overseas customers from their books by insisting they provide a completed, 'Proof of address verification form.'

Referring to ‘terms and conditions’ in a letter sent to customers in Portugal, the company is insisting that a current residential address is provided in either England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, BFPO, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands for customers to remain customers.

Other countries on the Barclaycard ‘white list’ ­- although not noted in the communication - include Guernsey, Bermuda, Cayman Islands - locations hardly renowned for their fiscal probity but fine for Baclaycard if you live there - and the Falklands Islands (pop. 3,300).

So much for EU open borders - the bank has blamed ‘local laws’ for its legal inability to service accounts in Portugal but has not pointed one out, as yet.

There are marginally higher admin costs for running overseas accounts due to computerised reporting requirements but retiree, expatriate home owners are generally a pretty good credit risk so the move is especially galling for many loyal customers who rely on the card for online purchases.

Those based in Portugal could switch to a credit card from their local Portuguese bank but credit limits in Portugal are set at such low rates that the card is useless for medium to high use.

In November 2016, Barclays sold its Spanish and Portuguese credit card business as part of a company-wide overhaul.

The bank said that its £1.2 billion Barclaycard consumer payments business was "sold at a small premium" to Spanish online bank, WiZink which previously was known as Bancopopular-e, and is owned by Varde Partners and Spain's Banco Popular.

Barclays said that the sale of its Spanish and Portuguese credit card business will help reduce its risk-weighted assets by £1 billion with WiZink acquiring nearly 800,000 customers.

Terms and conditions state that customers in Portugal must be in employment, failing to mention pension income.

The Barclays Group chief executive said at the time of the sale, "The Barclaycard consumer payments business in Portugal and Spain is a good business with a highly talented and dedicated workforce but no longer fits with our strategic ambitions. I am sure it will continue to thrive as part of WiZink."

The email and follow-up letter sent to Barclaycard holders in Portugal, runs as follows:

We realise you've had a Barclaycard for some time at your current (non-UK) address. As it's part of our terms and conditions that customers must have a current UK residential address, we're sorry to tell you that your account will have to close on 19 September 2018.

It's easy to keep your account open - here's how

You'll need to complete a 'Proof of address verification form', which you can download and print it is also included in the letter that we have sent to you.

Simply follow the instructions on the form (you'll need to include your cardholder ID together with a copy of a document showing your UK residential address.

On the form you'll see the documents we can accept - please don't send the originals, as we can't return them. Your residential address must be in one of these countries or territories - we can't accept a PO Box, C/O or a Barclays Branch address:
England
Wales
Scotland
Northern Ireland
Gibraltar
Channel Islands
Isle of Man

If you're a member of the armed forces and can give us a BFPO address, follow the simple instructions on the Proof of address verification form.

Remember, we can't take any address changes by phone or through Barclaycard online servicing - we must have paperwork.

If we haven't received your form with proof of your UK residential address by 6 August 2018, your card will stop working on that day. Your account will then be finally closed on 19 September 2018.

As long as your account's in order, you can use your card until 6 August 2018. After that, you'll need to:

    cut up your card - let any additional card holders know and that they should cut up their cards to cancel any regular payments set up on your card
    carry on paying your outstanding balance

We'll continue to send you statements until you've repaid in full, and you'll still be able to see them in Barclaycard online servicing.

Comments  

-1 #4 Denby 2018-07-13 16:52
According to what I have read, financial services, which include insurance companies, will not be able to operate in the EU after March 2019 as the UK will not be part of the European Court of Justice and the ECJ regulates the European Financial Services.
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-2 #3 Dolphie 2018-07-13 14:43
This was covered by the BBC business news. In addition to the countries you've listed Spain is also on the white list, plus Australia and selected Caribbean islands. Strange policy if one is a long standing client. I bank with Lloyd's offshore Isle of man, quite strict conditions in terms of minimum income, or holding £25000 on account, but will not offer credit card without UK address.
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+2 #2 chez 2018-07-13 07:07
Less to do with their !terms & Conditions, more to do with their fear that once the UK leaves the EU, they will have a very difficult time claiming any outstanding balances.
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-1 #1 SueF 2018-07-13 06:57
Barclays have had the requirement to be UK resident for some time but have chosen to ignore it if the card was being used. However, could this be the harbinger of things to come with Brexit if no 'Passporting' rights are granted to UK financial institutions, such as private pension providers? A report earlier this year stated that as things stand it may not be possible for insurance companies and other pension companies to pay pensions into an EU account, only a UK account, so unless you are legally resident in the UK the advice is to contact your pension provider to see how they will get around the issue. Most banks will not allow non-UK residents to open an account. State pensions won't be affected.
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