By Angelos Anastasiou
In line with the strategy it announced in 2014, Barclays Bank in Cyprus will be closing international banking accounts held in London, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man, belonging to Cyprus residents and with a balance less than a minimum £100,000, the bank said on Wednesday.
Having been contacted by several concerned Barclays account-holders in Cyprus who read a letter carried in the Sunday Mail on February 1, in which a former Barclays customer complained that his account of 50 years had been closed without prior warning, the Cyprus Mail contacted the lender’s Cyprus office to help clarify the matter.
“As part of the strategy announced by Barclays in 2014, individual clients, residents of Cyprus, with Barclays International Banking accounts in London, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man, a minimum threshold of £100,000 has been introduced,” Barclays said.
“Therefore, the bank has taken the difficult decision to gradually close accounts for customers that fall outside the new strategy, informing them via mail of these changes, and the timeframe within which they are taking place.”
The bank did not address the complaint of no prior warning expressed by the Mail reader, as his identity was unknown to the bank.
However, it asserted that “only a limited number of clients in Cyprus” were affected by the new policy, the “vast majority” of whom have already received a letter, and their accounts have been closed.
“Barclays apologises for any disruption caused by these changes and is committed to fully supporting customers, clients and employees through this transition,” the bank said.
Keen to dispel any concerns of withdrawing from Cyprus, Barclays added that its policy shift takes nothing away from the way it views Cyprus as a business centre.
“As Barclays refocuses its activities in line with its new strategy, it continues to recognise Cyprus as an attractive place to do business and remains committed to developing its business here,” it said.
“Barclays in Cyprus will focus on key intermediaries and key (mainly) international direct corporate relationships.”