Barclays withdraws credit card service from Gibraltar

Barclays has confirmed will be terminating its credit card service for Gibraltar account holders without a UK residential address next month, leaving local customers disgruntled.

Credit card customers were informed by email that their credit cards will stop working on or after May 30, 2023, and their accounts with Barclaycard will be closed on or shortly after June 21.

While the retail bank closed its doors to customers in 2013 and fully exited Gibraltar in 2016, the Barclaycard Credit Card service continued locally for almost a decade after.

“We’re sorry to let you know that we’re closing Barclaycard accounts without a UK residential address,” Barclaycard emailed customers on Wednesday morning.

“We’re making this change as we’re no longer offering credit cards to customers living outside of the UK.”

“If you have a UK residential address, please update your details in Online Servicing or our app b‌y ‌21 June 2023.”

“If you don’t have a UK residential address, then your card will unfortunately stop working on or after ‌30 May 2023 and we’ll close your account on or shortly af‌ter ‌21 June 2023.”

“We know that this may be disappointing and inconvenient, so we’re here to help you understand what this means for you and what to do next.”

“If you have other accounts with us that are affected by these changes, we’ll contact you about them separately.”

The email drew response from local customers online, with many concerned about the lack of provision for credit cards for those resident in Gibraltar.

Barclays sent a similar email to customers in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, which also fall under offshore jurisdictions for banking purposes.

Those customers were later informed that email was sent in error.

On Wednesday, Barclays confirmed the credit will be terminated in Gibraltar, leaving many locals without a credit card.

“Barclaycard credit cards are designed for customers in the UK, which is why we are proactively contacting cardholders in Gibraltar to inform them that they need to provide a permanent UK address in order to keep their account open,” a Barclays spokesperson told the Chronicle.

“For customers without a permanent UK address, our communications clearly outline the timelines and next steps, so they have time to prepare before their credit card is closed.”

“Barclays Private Bank continues to offer a full range of advisory and discretionary products and services to Family Offices and Ultra High Net Worth Clients in the region,” the spokesperson added.

The GSD’s spokesman for public finance, Roy Clinton, told GBC’s Gibraltar Today programme there is “evidently a gap in the market that needs to be filled” when asked about the termination of the credit card service.

Hours later, he told the Chronicle: “I find it regrettable that Barclaycard is apparently treating Channel Islands and Isle of Man customers differently to Gibraltar.”