Bank Accounts in the EU

Bank Accounts in the EU

If you are legally resident in an EU country you are entitled to open a “basic payment account”. Banks cannot refuse your application for a basic payment account just because you don’t live in the country where the bank is established.

Features of a basic account

A “basic payment account” is an account that covers standard transactions that you use in daily life, such as:

  • making deposits
  • withdrawing cash
  • receiving and carrying out payments (for example direct debits and card purchases)

It should also include a payment card that you can use to withdraw cash and make purchases – both online and in shops.

Where available, the bank should include access to online banking services with your account. However, they do not always have to include an overdraft or credit facility.

In some EU countries, your bank might still charge you an annual fee for this basic payment account. This fee should remain reasonable.

However please be aware that:

  • This right does not apply to other types of accounts such as savings accounts.
  • You may still be charged a fee if you close your account.

You are advised to read the full report on europa.eu before taking out an account. the link is below:

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EU Action on Single Use Plastics

EU Action on Single Use Plastics

EU rules on single-use plastic products, adopted in May 2019, target the 10 plastic items that most often pollute Europe’s beaches and seas, along with lost or abandoned fishing gear. This waste accounts for 70 % of marine litter.

 

Find out more about the 10 most polluting plastics and the new EU rules below. You can also find out what actions you can take to reduce your use of these polluting materials.

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EU Settlement Scheme – One Million People Granted Status

EU Settlement Scheme – One Million People Granted Status

This week the Home Office announced the millionth person was granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). This milestone was  announced alongside the latest application statistics for July. Despite this milestone there is still a way to go before all of the 3.6 million EU nationals living in the UK are registered under the scheme (House of Commons Library Briefing paper number CBP06077, 3 June 2019).

At Europe Direct East Midlands (North) we are concerned that the early applications are those most able to apply and therefore we are encouraging everyone to get the message out to EU nationals and encourage them to seek help. During July and August we have seen an increase in people approaching us for help with the EU Settlement Scheme, we are encouraged that the message is getting out locally. However, a number of EU nationals approaching our partner agency, Citizens Advice in Broxtowe, for help on unrelated matters have not yet registered. A spokesperson for Citizens Advice Broxtowe, Sally Bestwick explained; “when EU citizens approach us for help with things like benefit claims, employment problems, or even consumer enquiries we are checking that they have registered with the EUSS. Many have not.”

Registration is important as it does not only secure the right to reside in the UK after departure from the EU it will also be essential to ensure entitlement to public services and support.

The Home Office state that whether or not the UK and EU reach a deal before 31 October 2019, European Union (EU) citizens, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK will have until at least 31 December 2020 to apply. The Home office are encouraging friends and family to help them and their non-EU family members apply to the scheme today.

However for those who need help to apply and do not have someone who can assist there are a number of support services available. In Beeston, Nottingham we have the the Europe Direct Walk-in Centre.

Nottingham Law Centre also provide support locally.

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There are a number of support services listed by the Home Office.

Individuals that have made an application, or are attempting to do so, can get help and support by contacting the Settlement Resolution Centre on 0300 123 7379. If you are calling from outside the UK, you can call on 0044 (0) 203 080 0010.

Alternatively, we can be contacted in writing by clicking here

Vacancy at D2N2

Vacancy at D2N2

Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire’s local economic partnership (LEP), D2N2 are advertising a key role within the organisation for a Head of Marketing and Communications. The deadline for applications is 21st August.

Many of D2N2’s are part funded by the European Union.

D2N2, established in 2010, is one of the largest LEPs in England, covering an area with a population of more than two million people and with an economic output of over £42.9billion GVA (Gross Value Added) (ONS report, February 2016).

D2N2’s over-arching target is to support the creation of 55,000 new jobs in D2N2 by 2023.

The LEP is led and governed by a private sector-led Board; which is made up of high profile and respected leaders from the D2N2 area’s businesses, local authorities, skills and training providers, community and voluntary services organisations, and other sectors.

Click on the link below to find out more.

D2N2 Vacancies

EUSS Scams Reports

EUSS Scams Reports

There have been a number of reports in various local press recently relating to scams targeting EU citizens applying to the Home Office EU Settlement Scheme. We don’t want to cause alarm but felt it is important to offer some sensible advice to keep citizens safe from scammers.

Scammers may be using the new scheme to extract personal data or are simply not qualified or regulated to provide assistance on a commercial or non-commercial basis.

It is now a requirement for all EU citizens wishing to live and work in the UK to register as settled under the scheme. The Government have agreed that EU citizens who are resident in the UK before we leave the European Union (scheduled for 31st October), have until December 2020 to apply for settled or pre-settled status. The process for EU citizens arriving after the 31st October has yet to be decided.

The application process itself has three simple checks that include, proof of identify, proof of residence in the UK and a criminality check. It is designed so that most people should be able to complete their own application and those of their dependents. This is normally carried out online.

However some people may wish to receive help completing the form because they may not have digital access or through reasons of health or vulnerability, are not able to complete the form without assistance.

So what do you need to know if you are seeking help?

First of all anyone collecting personal information is governed by strict data protection laws that have recently been strengthened by the EU. These are called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  More information on GDPR is available in the UK from the Information Commissioners Office.

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Secondly the provision of immigration advice is also regulated in the UK and anyone providing professional help to complete EUSS applications should hold accreditation with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

Therefore EU citizens should only seek help from recognised sources of help. All Citizens Advice offices hold OISC Level 1 accreditation and can help with standard applications. In Beeston (Nottinghamshire) the Local Citizens Advice run a Walk-in Centre on behalf of Europe Direct East Midlands (North).

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Digital assistance is available for those that require help and are vulnerable. This takes the form of online, telephone support and face to face support. There are a number of agencies contracted by the Home Office to assist vulnerable EU citizens in person with their applications to the EUSS. These include some Citizens Advice services, law centres and other immigration advice centres. The Home Office have published a list of contracted organisations along with details of the various forms of assistance.

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If in doubt call the Europe Direct East Midlands (North) helpline first on 01773 532291.

Business Enquiries -Single Market

Business Enquiries -Single Market

At Europe Direct we receive a number of enquiries relating to doing business in the EU. The Single Market and Customs Union means that there are common standards across the EU on things like product and labelling standards, intellectual property, taxation, public contracts, competition rules, employment rights and consumer rights, plus many more.

This may seem overwhelming but these common standards are required to create a level playing field within the Single Market which is necessary for the removal of internal boarders that allow for the free movement capital, goods, services and people. Itself seen as an engine for economic growth. The European Union describe the Single Market as follows:

 “The single market refers to the EU as one territory without any internal borders or other regulatory obstacles to the free movement of goods and services. A functioning single market stimulates competition and trade, improves efficiency, raises quality, and helps cut prices. The European single market is one of the EU’s greatest achievements. It has fuelled economic growth and made the everyday life of European businesses and consumers easier” (Europa.eu).

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Support is available to help businesses navigate their way through the single market and grow their business. Support comes in the form of resources provided online, information and advice and in some cases funding. This support is delivered through a mixture of channels including the European Union, national governments (GOV.UK) and in the UK, local enterprise partnerships (in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire this is provided by D2N2, and in Lincolnshire the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership). So if you’re trying to expand your business don’t feel that you are alone. Support is out there and in addition to the links above we have complied some useful sources of information and support as follows:

If you have a question about doing business cross boarder you can contact the Enterprise Europe Network.

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They have also produced a practical guide to doing business in Europe.

There is also a host of information provided by both EU and UK reliable sources. They include:

CE Marking

Product Labelling – The Law

Selling Goods and Services

Selling Food and Drink

Finance and Funding

If you are struggling to find the support you need please contact us and we will look to signpost you or your organisation to the appropriate help.

You can contact Europe Direct East Midlands (North) by;

email: europedirect@broxtowe.cab.org.uk

Telephone: 01773 532291

or call into our Walk-in Centre based at the Citizens Advice Beeston office where you will be offered and appointment to see our dedicated Europe Direct Advice Worker. For emergencies we will see you during Citizens Advice Broxtowe opening times without an appointment. See above link for details.

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Work-life balance

Work-life balance

The Work-life balance initiative takes into account the developments in society over the past decade in order to enable parents and people with caring responsibilities to better balance their work and family lives and to encourage a better sharing of caring responsibilities between women and men.

It comes after a public and partner consultation and the analysis of the accompanying impact assessment. It includes legal and policy measures with a proposal for a directive on work life balance and support for member states. The link below provides more details from the European Commission‘s website that includes videos and fact sheets.

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This initiative is intended to benefit individuals, companies and the wider society.

Parents and carers will profit from a better work-life balance. Moreover, the foreseen increase in women’s employment, their higher earnings and career progression will positively impact their and their families’ economic prosperity, social inclusion and health.

Companies will benefit from a wider talent pool and a more motivated and productive labour force, as well as from less absenteeism. The rise in women’s employment will also contribute to addressing the challenge of demographic ageing and ensuring Member States’ financial stability.