Most expats trust banks abroad, except in Spain
Expats continue to have a high level of trust in banks abroad - despite the ongoing financial crisis.
The Expat Banking Poll - a social survey sponsored by Lloyds TSB International and conducted by expat website Just Landed - suggests that expats aren’t worried about keeping their money in foreign banks.
However, people living abroad in Spain have far less faith in the local banking infrastructure.
According to the poll among 1184 expatriates, as many as 59% of expats trust their banks abroad, while only 22% of respondents do not trust their banks “at all”. Nineteen percent said they “don’t know”.
“These figures should bring great comfort to expats,” said Daniel Tschentscher, managing partner at Just Landed. “In the current climate, one would expect the level of trust to be lower, but that really doesn’t seem to be the case at all.”
The poll shows significant differences between popular expat destinations. Banks in the Middle East seem to enjoy some of the best reputations among expats. In the United Arab Emirates, 74% completely trust local banks, in Kuwait this number is even higher at 83%. In Europe, German banks receive a similar score, with 68% of expats completely trusting their services. UK banks - though facing problems as well - are completely trusted by 52% of respondents. And despite uncertainties over the British pound, 36% of expatriates claim they would invest in sterling over any other currency.
On the other extreme, expats in Spain are rapidly losing faith in the national banking system. In Spain, 64% of expatriates do not trust local banks at all, one of the highest levels of distrust worldwide. Some of the most common problems cited by those who distrust banks abroad include unfair charges, trouble with the language barrier and money that was deducted from their account without any explanation.
Daniel added, “While the poll demonstrated a lot of positivity, there are also some issues to be addressed. But in general, it seems expats feel quite safe banking abroad.”