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Does any body else out there use offshore banking at Barclays?

I've banked with them for the last 15 years or so with no problems and great service up until recently.

Both my partners debit card and mine have been stopped, supposedly by their fraud department even though there is no fraudelent activity. Mine was stopped last August and my partner's two weeks ago. The bank has claimed to have sent me three new cards since August none of which have arrived. They also claimed to have sent my partner two cards, even though we weren't aware a new one was being sent in the first place and didn't contact them about non-delivery. Their original excuse about non delivery of cards with my first card is that they have no control over the postal service, but their latest response is that they are using couriers to deliver the card to a PO box wich means the couriers cannot deliver them.

They have now stopped responding to any correspondence from me.

The last time I experienced this type of behavior from a large financial institution was just before the Equitable, where I had my main pension savings, went broke.

Fortunately I have been able to electronically transfer, via the internet, nearly every penny from this account, just in case.
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I have had trouble with Barclays since they took over my Morgan Stanley Credit card the biggest problem is the call centre in India.

I had a Morgan Stanley Credit card they sold out to Gold Fish then Barclays took them over recently but there computer systems always down they never answer mails or take any responsibilty for any misstakes or errors made just no good really.

I also had trouble with Abbey UK with the same.


But my Offshore accounts with Anglo Irish Isle of Man is very good.

And also Abbey International is good but becoming less competitive in the market as the charges have gone up but they make record profits.
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Years ago I had dealings with Lloyd's of Jersey. A so called 'offshore bank'. No matter what they tell you they still have the UK big bank attitude. You are a number and nothing more. Service is not a word in their vocabulary.

Even if I lived in the UK I wouldn't bank there. There are better (EU mainland, cheaper, more efficient, more respectful) options outwith the UK banking system and away from UK tax man prying eyes.

For years now I have banked in Luxembourg. Three different currency accounts, full internet banking in English with phone banking in English, as well as other languages. Via on-line banking you can send money to any account from any account in just about any country or currency. Maestro Cash machine card works worldwide. It's a breath of fresh air compared to the UK banking system. I wouldn't touch it again with a barge pole let alone trust them with our money!
James Mc
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James do you mind naming the bank in Luxembourg, pm if you prefer not to post. I am in the process of going ltd co after being PAYE for years, sed rule changes forced my hand. Anyway I have been looking for an offshore bank that has the facilities you mention, but it's a minefield with no info on whether they are anygood.
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Also watch out for any Channel Isles based banks, after the recent debacle with banks going bust, those who had savinbgs with Icesaves CI branch found that the compensation scheme does not cover them.

Luckily I am due to get £45k back from the Uk government from my UK based Iceasave account Smile
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No worries passing the info out into the open. You can find them on the net anyway.

The bank is Fortis bank, they got into trouble recently... oops! but in a closely coordinated/monitored effort from the Luxembourg, Belgium and French authorities investors were backed fully from the outset. At the time of the vent each country immediately looked after the branches on their patch and customers didn't notice a thing. The Fortis branches in Luxembourg will be reverting back to their old name of BGL.. 'Bank General du Luxembourg'.

Been with them for year and feel solid and secure in the light of recent events.

You will need to visit Luxembourg in person to open an account. Actually it's quite an interesting place, so worth a wee trip with the Mrs for the visit alone.

Accounts are available for all EU citizens. You do not need to be a resident of Luxembourg nor does it matter a jot that you may be a resident of another EU country. They do have other branches elsewhere but you'd be better to pop over to the country and open at a local branch there. If you are into trading the markets then they are closely linked with Internaxx. Those of you that do trade, internationally, will have heard of Internaxx I am sure.

My branch is at:

Fortis Bank Luxembourg
27 Avenue Monterey
L – 2951
Luxembourg

Tel: +352 (479) 94 021
Contact: Isobel Wagner.

If you call, reception may answer in French, German or the local dialect, just ask politely if they can use English and it'll not be a problem.
Ask for Isobel Wagner and say that James McLauchlan from Portugal recommended you to her.
Explain that you work worldwide and tell them you wish to shift your main banking there.. if you hint at opening an account as merely a secondary 'low level' account they may baulk. As I said you need to be fully prepared to head on over there. When we opened our account you needed to show up in person with proof of ID (Passport) and also proof of where you reside.. utility bills. Take other proof as well rather than not enough. Take some bank or pay statements also. They may not want them but better to have them at hand than not.
James Mc
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www.rovworld.com

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So, I suppose the question about Barclays in Jersey is:

Does their recent behaviour with me indicate this part of Barclays is in trouble and may fold, or have they just become supremely arrogant because they are one of the few that are strong enough to survive without outside help?

Either way best to avoid.

As this is now a three strikes and out situation for me, I will be investigating other options. Thanks for the info about Fortis Luxembourg, James, I will certainly consider them.
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[quote=

My branch is at:

Fortis Bank Luxembourg
[/quote]

James,

Offshore banking is a whole new area for me. Could you please explain the benefits?
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I have had offeshore account with HSBC in Jersey for years. They are very good, always answer the phone and call back when they say, nothing seems to be too much trouble and call centre is local (to them) not in India like the mainland branches. Although I mostly operate the account online.

All the perks of mainland banks and you don't need to go there. Can also choose your currency.
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Paulie wrote:


James,

Offshore banking is a whole new area for me. Could you please explain the benefits?


Luxembourg is not offshore as such. The bank we use is an EU mainland bank and falls under EU banking laws as do the UK banks (in theory), although the way they operate in the UK you wouldn't think so!

Benefits?
Working through a UK agency, being paid into a Luxembourg bank (any other EU country would do) and living as a resident of yet another EU country has had it's advantages for as long as I care to remember. In effect you keep the bulk of your money in a country you do not live in, then transfer smaller amounts to your country of residence as and when required. Say no more Wink

EU mainland banks are far more user friendly in that they seem to view people as customers and not a captive 'take it or leave it' audience which seems to prevail in the UK banking system.

As a UK resident the more remote (to the UK) you can make your banking the better chances you have of an improved banking relationship and greater tax reduction.. for want of a better expression.
My advice would be to choose a bank that is not a UK high street named bank like Lloyds, Barclays etc. No matter how offshore these banks appear to be they seem to have a direct channel of comms back to their UK HQ and, if asked by the UK tax man, would most likely spill the beans faster than I care to imagine. I feel that banking with another EU bank, in a country other than the UK with it's HQ roots not in the UK either, would be a better option. I would say that though because that is what I did years ago and for me it paid off.

If you are living in the UK and bank in the UK - even Jersey, Guernsey, or OIM, you are making it way too easy for the UK authorities to track your income.

As an aside.
Not that I would bank with them but I have noticed recently in the local press around here (Algarve) that Lloyds have started offering £GBP & €Euro accounts out of Gibraltar but the accounts are not available to UK residents for some reason. God knows why!

best regards
James Mc
James Mc
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www.rovworld.com

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jamesmc wrote:
No worries passing the info out into the open. You can find them on the net anyway.

The bank is Fortis bank, they got into trouble recently... oops! but in a closely coordinated/monitored effort from the Luxembourg, Belgium and French authorities investors were backed fully from the outset. At the time of the vent each country immediately looked after the branches on their patch and customers didn't notice a thing. The Fortis branches in Luxembourg will be reverting back to their old name of BGL.. 'Bank General du Luxembourg'.

Been with them for year and feel solid and secure in the light of recent events.

You will need to visit Luxembourg in person to open an account. Actually it's quite an interesting place, so worth a wee trip with the Mrs for the visit alone.

Accounts are available for all EU citizens. You do not need to be a resident of Luxembourg nor does it matter a jot that you may be a resident of another EU country. They do have other branches elsewhere but you'd be better to pop over to the country and open at a local branch there. If you are into trading the markets then they are closely linked with Internaxx. Those of you that do trade, internationally, will have heard of Internaxx I am sure.

My branch is at:

Fortis Bank Luxembourg
27 Avenue Monterey
L – 2951
Luxembourg

Tel: +352 (479) 94 021
Contact: Isobel Wagner.

If you call, reception may answer in French, German or the local dialect, just ask politely if they can use English and it'll not be a problem.
Ask for Isobel Wagner and say that James McLauchlan from Portugal recommended you to her.
Explain that you work worldwide and tell them you wish to shift your main banking there.. if you hint at opening an account as merely a secondary 'low level' account they may baulk. As I said you need to be fully prepared to head on over there. When we opened our account you needed to show up in person with proof of ID (Passport) and also proof of where you reside.. utility bills. Take other proof as well rather than not enough. Take some bank or pay statements also. They may not want them but better to have them at hand than not.


James,

Do you know if they or the authorities guarantee your money should the bank go under, if so, how much will they guarantee ?

V3
''Safe or Unsafe is the perception of the consequence of the action or inaction''

opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one !! >< ( ( ((º >
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Nope I'm not sure about guaranteed funds. When we joined the bank years ago it was not even a consideration that a bank might go under. Interested parties may wish to ask that question. I wonder, when opening an account do people ask Lloyds (for example) if they guarantee funds in the UK?

BGL (as it is now known again) is part of the Luxembourg, Belgium, French establishment and would be supported by the various governments involved should they get into trouble. Proof of that is when Fortis bank ran into trouble the solution (plus revert the bank bank back to BGL ownership) was sorted out virtually overnight. They are a public style bank rather than a private 'closed door' type bank.

best regards
James Mc
James Mc
Site Admin
www.rovworld.com

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Dear Dr. Jim,
Thanks for the information on a reliable foreign bank. Something that has been on my mind for some time.
I hope to follow it up soon.

Best regards,
R2D2

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