What it means for you
Brexit Frequently Asked Questions
What does Brexit mean?
“Brexit” is the short-hand term being used to describe the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU).
The UK voted to leave the EU following a referendum in June 2016. In March 2017, the UK Government started the process of leaving the EU by triggering Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.
There should no immediate impact on your everyday banking services.
What is Article 50?
Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union is a provision in law which sets out how a Member State can leave the EU.
What has been announced by the European Council in November 2018?
The EU and UK have signed a Withdrawal Deal on the UK’s departure from the EU. They have also agreed a top level political agreement on the future UK-EU relationship which is not legally binding at this stage.
Icon expand What happens next?
The Withdrawal Deal now needs be approved by member states and the UK & European Parliaments. It is expected that the full future EU-UK deal, including for financial services will be worked through during the transition period.
Icon expand What is the transition period?
In March 2018, the European Council announced the framework for a transition period, under which the UK would continue to participate in the European Single Market. This means UK banks would continue to have access to the European Single Market using financial services passporting rights. However, the transition period still needs to be approved by the UK and European parliaments, plus formally approved by the European Council so it is not yet legally agreed.
Icon expand What is passporting?
Passporting allows us as a bank to sell our financial services in the EU, so that it’s as easy to lend to a customer in Madrid as it is to lend to a customer in Manchester. It also means that some of the foreign banks who have offices here in the UK can sell their financial services into EU countries and in the UK.
Icon expand How will the Bank operate if EU passporting is removed?
We are a UK focused bank, so for the vast majority of customers, our services and products will remain the same after Brexit. However, to prepare for the possible loss of EU passporting we will use our banking entity in the Netherlands, NatWest Markets N.V to provide continuity of service from NatWest Markets to our non-UK EEA customers. As the Netherlands is a member of the EU, we’ll be able to use EU passporting rights for NatWest Markets N.V. to serve EEA customers.
We're also preparing for the intended move of our Western Europe Large Corporate business and operations to transfer to NatWest Markets N.V. We’ll make sure there’s minimal disruption to our customers’ business and we’ll provide our customers with our full support throughout the transition.
Making these changes to our operations will allow us to continue to offer products and services to all our customers, regardless of where they live and where they do business.
Icon expand Why does passporting need to be removed when we leave the EU?
Passporting is intrinsic to the Single Market and will not be available to the UK after Brexit. The UK Government in its July 2018 white paper stated that its proposal for the economic partnership would include new arrangements on services and investments that provide regulatory flexibility.
Icon expand Which countries are in the EU?
The EU currently consists of:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
Icon expand Which countries are included in the European Economic Area (EEA)?
The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It allows them to be part of the EU’s single market.
Switzerland is neither an EU nor EEA member but is part of the single market - this means Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals.
Icon expand Can I still make and receive payments from EU countries?
Yes. There should be no immediate changes to how you make and receive payments to EU countries. And of course you can continue to access your bank account through the mobile app to conduct your everyday banking needs. Your usual direct debits and other payments should continue as normal.
Icon expand Will I still be able to use ATMs in EU countries?
Yes. It will still be easy to use your bank card in ATMs across Europe, in much the same way as you can use it today when you go on holiday to non-EU countries, such as America or Australia. And of course you can continue to access your bank account through the mobile app to conduct your everyday banking needs.
Icon expand Is my money safe?
Icon expand Would a UK citizen living in the EU lose access to their banking in the UK?
There is as yet no specific guidance on UK banking, however there is a risk that in the event of ‘no deal’, access to certain banking services in the UK could be restricted.
Icon expand Will there be any changes to my ability to make payments in Euro from the UK post Brexit?
Post-Brexit our access to euro payment capability for our customers will remain as it is today.
For more information on Brexit:
- FCA Brexit site - https://www.fca.org.uk/eu-withdrawal
- UK Government Brexit site - https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-exiting-the-european-union
- Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Brexit site - http://www.cbi.org.uk/business-issues/brexit-and-eu-negotiations/