Barclays bank announces plans to shut thousands of Britons' bank accounts: 'We've been debanked!'

A Barclays bank

The decision was a result of an internal review that began in 2021

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 23/09/2023

- 09:14

Updated: 23/09/2023

- 16:31

Expats will no longer be able to access their UK current or savings account

Barclays has announced plans to close the bank accounts of Britons who no longer live in the UK.

Expats will no longer be able to hold a Barclays UK current or savings account, the financial institute announced yesterday.

The decision by one of the UK’s leading banks could leave many customers unable to access their pensions or savings.

The move comes after an internal review by the bank which began in 2021.

WATCH NOW: Barclays slashes 450 jobs

The investigation examined its international policies and offerings.

Barclays is now sending out notifications to their customers informing them of the closure of their accounts.

The changes are due to go ahead in 6-months, giving clients half-a-year’s notice.

Whilst UK current and savings accounts will be terminated for those abroad, the bank has offered an alternative.

Expats can open a global account with Barclays – however customers must have a minimum of £100,000 at all times in their account.

Dropping below this threshold will result in a monthly charge of £40.


In a statement the bank said that its UK products and services are designed exclusively for those living in the country.

The Financial Conduct Authority is not getting involved, as it said banks are able to set their own rules on customers.

Outraged account holders have already criticised the move.

Professor David Barker, 89, who moved to Australia from the UK in 1988, said he was shocked by the decision.

Barker and his wife initially received a letter in April from the bank telling them they would need to de-register at their daughter’s UK address.

However earlier this week, he received a call informing him that the prior information he had been given was incorrect and his account would be terminated.

Barclays bank branch ATM

An alternative solution for expats only favours those with £100,000 in their accounts


“They seem absolutely determined to get rid of our account,” he told The Telegraph.

“We are concerned about the way Barclays is handling it. I couldn’t believe that we would get a cold call telling us we would be debanked.”

The couple were instructed that they must move all of their money out of their accounts by November 24.

Barker stated that his UK Barclays account was his family’s main bank account.

Barclay’s decision mirrors other rival banks who have also turned their backs on their customers abroad.

In 2021, Lloyds Banking Group told 13,000 expats in Europe that their British accounts would be shut.

The news comes after Barclays announced it would lay off 450 staff earlier this month.

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