The word ‘debank’ is once again finding itself popular this week. This time on a global scale. Barclays announced that they would be closing thousands of bank accounts belonging to expats. News that was met with universal negativity from customers.

The news was broken to the accounts holders after they received letters informing them of the forthcoming closures. The account holders have been given six months to change their bank accounts, with the closures affecting those who hold savings and current accounts. Global accounts can still be opened at Barclays, however accounts under £100,000 require a £40 monthly charge.

Many account holders took to social media to voice their dismay with the decision. It was met with the return of often occurring arguments, such as the state of trust towards banks and Brexit once again doing the rounds.

CEO and founder of deVere Group, Nigel Green, said: “We have been warning expats since November 2020 that many Britons who live overseas face being stripped of their UK bank accounts and credit cards because of increasing required, expensive and onerous compliance measures they need to take.”

Other banks have not made the same announcement. Not yet. Green went on to suggest this may not be far away. He said: “We expect that other British high street banks will follow in Barclays’ footsteps and further ‘modify’ expat banking services. We would be surprised if many more people were not affected.”

Expats given six months before their accounts close

Some customers were informed of the closures much earlier. This was when banks began to undergo to review of its international offerings in 2021. But now the transition is on a much larger scale. Barclays are looking set to close all accounts belonging to expats six months from now. The feeling is that Barclays are looking to finish with expats altogether. At least those with under £100,000 in their accounts that is.

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People took to Twitter to voice their reaction to the news. Some considered it a “discriminatory move.” As with most Twitter reactions from the Great British public, it was met with a collection of sarcastic tweets. Users said: “expats who voted for Brexit, the banks are pleased for you” and “debank the expats, very noble of you.”

While applying irony to make the point was the method of choice for many, some opted for a more direct approach, with a series of expletive words leaving no room for imagination. The story serves as a rare event on social media, everyone appears to be in agreement.

Our signals coverage is powered by GlobalData’s Thematic Engine, which tags millions of data items across six alternative datasets — patents, jobs, deals, company filings, social media mentions and news — to themes, sectors and companies. These signals enhance our predictive capabilities, helping us to identify the most disruptive threats across each of the sectors we cover and the companies best placed to succeed.