The Future For Barclays Bank Clients in Spain
Barclays has taken the decision to end their retail banking business in continental Europe and aims to pull out over the next couple of years. On 1 Sep 2014 it was announced that CaixaBank will buy Barclays in Spain for 800 million euros, find out what will happen if you bank with them.
Barclays is the foreign bank with the largest presence in Spain, at one time with over 500 branches but currently with around 270, mainly in Madrid, Catalunya and Andalucia. The purchase by Caixabank excludes both Barclays investment banking business and Barclaycard. The whole takeover is expected to be finalized by the end of 2014.
It’s still early to know what decision will be taken about which branches will remain and which will be closed – either way Barclays account holders will end up with a different account number.
Why Will My Account Number Change?
IBAN account numbers are made up of a series of digits:
- The first four alphanumeric characters include ES and two control numbers.
- The next four digits identify the financial institution and are assigned by the Bank of Spain. Barclays uses the number 0065.
- Then come four digits for the branch code, two control digits and 10 for the account number.
As you can see, it will be necessary for the complete IBAN account number to change.
What Will Happen To Your Direct Debits?
This shouldn’t be an issue, as the new bank will set up a system that automatically associates your old account number with the new one. It’s a good idea when the change happens to keep an eye on your account just in case.
Will The Conditions of My Account / Cards / Loan / Mortgage Change?
This is probably the most important question, especially if you have a commission-free account or no annual fee credit cards.
- Fixed term contracts such as loans, mortgages or deposits cannot have their terms unilaterally changed by the new bank.
- Other products, not fixed to a number of years/months, such as current and savings accounts or credit cards may be subject to unilateral changes. In these cases the bank must let you know two months beforehand about changes affecting accounts, direct debits and cards or one month for any other products.
Depending on your circumstances, you may decide that it’s time to change bank either because you no longer have a branch nearby or because the terms of your financial products have changed. However, beware if you have a loan or mortgage where your interest rate is linked to having other products such as a current account and insurance – in these cases you’ll probably be left with no choice but to continue with Caixabank.
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