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August update for expats in Spain

By Chris Burke - Topics: Investment objectives, Investments, Spain
This article is published on: 17th August 2022

I hope you are well and managing to keep cool, stay safe and ‘push back’ a little if possible. This month we cover the following topics (if there is anything you would like to understand more or would wish to see covered in these Newsletters don’t hesitate to ask):

  • Covid Update (the last one ?)
  • Golden Visa Changes in Europe
  • An Update on having a UK bank/investment/building society account

Covid Update
A quick Covid update to start things off – The Catalan health department have announced that people who have Covid-19 symptoms will be able to request an automatic 5-day sick leave. This announcement was made as a response to the seventh wave of Covid here in Catalonia, which has seen an increase in visits to primary care centres. The measures allow residents of Catalonia to fill out a form on the website of the Catalan health department, ‘La Meva Salut’, explaining why they feel ill.

The measures will not require a Covid test to be taken, and will be automatically lifted on the fifth day. This could prove particularly beneficial for those who are sick and cannot work remotely. The idea behind the new measure is to simplify the process and reduce in-person paperwork for someone who may not be able to attend a health centre.

Golden Visa Changes
The European Parliament is considering implementing changes to the ‘golden visa’ scheme, which is prevalent in many EU countries, including Spain. The scheme allows families who invest over €500,000 into residential property or qualifying investment schemes to receive citizenship and/or residency in the respective country.

Some MEPs have demanded a ban on ‘golden passports’ and specific rules for ‘golden visas’ to fight money laundering and corruption. MEPs have become concerned that EU membership is for sale and have pledged to regulate this area throughout Europe. This includes stringent background checks, reporting obligations for member states and requirements surrounding minimum physical presence in the country for applicants.

August update for expats in Spain

Banks Accounts, Savings and Investments accounts in the UK
There have been reports of UK Financial Institutions requesting Non-Resident UK clients to close their bank, savings and investment accounts in the UK.

National Savings & Investments, home of the NS&I accounts and Premium Bonds which is government backed, is reminding clients that they need a UK bank account to retain their accounts. That would be fine in itself as many people who have lived in the UK still have one of these, however, there have also been reports of Barclays asking clients with EU residential addresses to close their accounts. Therefore, this is having a knock-on effect – for example, to have an account with NS&I you need a UK bank or building society account in your name. If this account is closed (imagine if you had an account with Barclays) then you cannot have an NS&I account also.

This may be a little unsettling if you are living here in Spain and have bank, savings or investment accounts in the UK, but do not worry. If you are affected or concerned by this then feel free to get in contact with me. There are good alternatives to Savings & investment accounts that are Spanish compliant, meaning your money is likely to be more tax efficient and remains with UK based institutions.

If you would like any more information regarding any of the above, or to talk through your situation initially and receive expert, factual based advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can book an initial consultation via my calendar link below or email/send me a message.

Article by Chris Burke

If you are based in the Barcelona/Costa Brava area and would like to have an initial, complimentary face to face video call or arrange a time to visit Chris in his office in central Barcelona, contact Chris on chris.burke@spectrum-ifa.com or whatsapp +34 689915730. If you are based in another area within Europe, please complete the form below and we will put a local adviser in touch with you.

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