News has reached me of some banks applying post-Brexit charges to international money transfers to and from the UK. Has anyone had this problem?
International transfers are hard to avoid if you live as an expat in Spain, or own a second home here. So charges on international transfers are an extra cost you don’t need, especially if they are unjustified.
I was recently sent an email saying “In contravention of EU law Spanish banks are ignoring the instruction that IBAN transfers between countries of the Eurozone up to €12,500 between private citizens should be free. Of course, the UK is not in the Eurozone, but the general idea is pettifogging action against British citizens.”
Another source points out that “The UK is still in the SEPA zone and part of the SEPA agreement is no charges.” This means that any banks applying transfer charges “are unilaterally acting in breach of European Council Regulations.” In theory, “any charges that are applied should really be refunded on complaint.” But most people don’t complain, so they get away with it.
I have seen articles and discussions online suggesting this problem is not limited to Spain. Second-home owners and expats in France and Italy are reporting similar charges.
I’m also seeing reports of Spanish utilities rejecting direct debits to UK Euro accounts, which could cause a huge headache for British owners of second homes in Spain, forcing them to open Spanish bank accounts, and potentially get hit by charges on international money transfers.