Overseas personnel bank accounts – potential closure

Image showing someone using a cashpoint tapping in their pin code.

As a result of Brexit and subsequent rule changes, when the UK leaves the European Union after December 31, some British banks will no longer be able to offer accounts and credit cards for individuals who live overseas and do not have a UK residential address (or a BFPO address).

Where accounts closures are planned, all impacted customers should receive direct communication from their bank, but you are advised to check with your bank to confirm.

Like other UK Government employees working and living overseas, members of the Armed Forces are classed as Crown Servants. Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and Nationwide have confirmed that they will exempt customers who are UK Crown Servants from announced closures.

What should you do?

  • If you live outside the UK and hear nothing from your bank or building society then you should assume that you are unaffected. If you remain concerned, please speak to your banking provider.
  • If you bank with Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group or Nationwide, and receive a letter or email seeking to close your account, you should contact them and let them know that you are a Crown Servant and that you understand their policy is to continue to provide banking services to Crown Servants working and living outside the UK. The final decision whether to continue to provide you with banking services lies with the provider.
  • Given the assurances provided by Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and Nationwide, to continue to support UK Crown Servants working overseas with UK banking services, the AF Rem Pay Team would be interested to know of instances where these providers fail to follow through on these commitments (made to HM Treasury colleagues) as they impact on Service personnel.
  • Therefore, in cases where personnel who identify themselves as Crown Servants are still required to close their bank accounts, with one of these three providers only, please email the following details to us at [email protected] so that we may report this back to colleagues in HM Treasury:
  • Surname
  • Service Number
  • Bank Provider
  • Branch Sort Code
  • If you bank with another provider and receive a letter or email seeking to close your account, you should contact them and let them know that you are a Crown Servant and ask whether this fact changes their decision. However, the final decision whether to continue to provide you with banking services lies with the provider.
  • If you receive a letter or email from any provider seeking to close your account, it may be conditional on you being able to provide an alternative UK address. For some years the UK financial institutions have accepted BFPO addresses as equivalent to UK addresses. If this option is available to you at your overseas location, your provider may accept a change of address to one which includes a BFPO number as sufficient to continue to offer banking services to you.

Those utilising the Bank Switching Service will have their bank details updated automatically and a JPA workflow produced (workflows not accessed within 10 working days will automatically redirect to Unit HR) notifying them of this change.

Otherwise, personnel should update their bank details on JPA as soon as possible using the JPA Self Service Function. Those using the Bank Switching Service can also update their details via JPA rather than wait for the automated change process to be applied.

If you do need to advise JPA of a change in any of your bank details, the forms are on MOD’s internal SharePoint (only accessible to Service personnel). 

There is also general information available through an article on MoneySavingExpert.com

Source: RAF Website Story image by Eduardo Soares on Unsplash

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