I have had a Barclays bank account for 27 years and kept it when I moved to Greece but, after Brexit, it decided to close accounts held by non-UK residents.
I have never received a letter from Barclays about this but, in September, I found I could no longer log in to my account which contained nearly £50,000.
When I contacted Barclays, I was told it had been closed and it advised me to make a reclaim request for my money to be transferred to my Greek bank account.
I did this online on 14 September. I also filled in the account closing instructions form and uploaded all the documents it asked for.
I was then sent a “claim submission number” informing me that it would process it within 10 working days of receiving my documents.
However, more than a month has passed and my funds have still not arrived.
I have repeatedly called Barclays to find out what has gone wrong, but no one can tell me. What has happened to my money?
AR, Axioupoli, Greece
This is the second case I have dealt with where a Greece-based Barclays customer has struggled to get hold of their cash after the unexpected (to them) closure of their account.
Barclays says: “As a ring-fenced bank, our Barclays UK products are designed for customers within the UK. Where we make the decision to no longer offer products and services, we are contacting impacted customers to give them six months notice of this decision and outline the next steps they need to take.
“Following the customer’s redemption request, the proof of identity submitted was rejected as it did not meet the certification requirements as outlined on our reclaim portal.
“We wrote to the customer on 15 September to request certified copies of their identity documents. We have completed the required verification checks, and have initiated the transfer to their selected account.”
Although you did not receive any correspondence from Barclays, the bank sent you three letters – one posted as far back as November 2021 – informing you of its intention to close the account. It then went ahead and shut it in the summer. With our help your cash finally landed in your Greek bank account on 28 November and you are very relieved.
Barclays has set up a dedicated website for customers who might be affected by this shake up but it’s hard not to conclude that it has not put enough effort into managing these closures. Sending letters and then closing accounts – even when no reply comes from the account holder – does not seem good enough when large sums of money are at stake.
There are other ways to reach customers, especially those living abroad, in the 21st century.
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