Print Posted By Lost in France on 13 Mar 2009 in Living in France - Banking, Taxes and Finance

Expats feeling the squeeze overseas

Expats feeling the squeeze overseas Expatriates are feeling the squeeze overseas according to Halifax International's new Expat Mood Monitor
Since January 2008, over half (52%) of expats have noticed a decrease in their disposable income (with 44% noticing a decrease of 10% or more), and almost two-thirds (62%) have seen a decrease in their overall investment portfolios.

63% of expats also believe that the economic situation in their current country of residence is better than in the UK. In addition, property abroad has suffered to a lesser extent than in the UK, with one third of expats (33%) stating that the value of their property overseas has remained the same since January 2008. With regards to rental markets, over half (54%) of expats have reported no change in their rent payments overseas.

Furthermore, almost nine out of ten (88%) expats have seen an increase in the amount that they are paying for food and over half (52%) have noticed an increase in price of 10% or more.

Commenting on the research, James Gairdner, Managing Director of Halifax International states, "These figures demonstrate that it is now more important than ever that expatriates are not only provided with more competitive, available and secure saving options, but also have access to the right financial advice when they are overseas. This will enable them to make the most of their investments."

No Returns:
The research also revealed that 41% of expats living around the world have no plans to ever return to the UK. The top reasons for leaving in the first place (in priority order) are:
• For a better quality of life (56%)
• Work (44%)
• To escape the weather (27%)
• To escape the youth culture and crime (20%)

Nevertheless, expats still miss elements of the UK, the most popular factor being family or people (44%), followed by the culture, with one third (30%) of expats confessing that they miss the traditional British way of life. Other interesting themes included the UK's standard of recreational sport, Marks & Spencer's and John Lewis, Marmite and the countryside. However one in four (27%) miss nothing at all.

With the recent fall in the value of the pound, one in four expats also noticed a 10% increase in their buying power when converting their currency to sterling when they were last in the UK.

Halifax International Regular Saver
Key features:
• 5% annual gross p.a. fixed for one year
• Save between £100 and £2,000 per month by standing order
• Available in sterling
• No withdrawals allowed from your Regular Saver Account
• After one year, any savings will be and interest will be rolled over into a Sterling Variable Rate Halifax International Web Saver account
• One account per customer

Halifax International Variable Rate Web Saver
Key features:
• Available in sterling, euros or dollars
• The rates are Sterling (up to 1.40%), Euros (up to 2.20%), Dollars (up to 0.90%.)
• Minimum opening balance of £1,000, €1,000 or US $1,000
• Interest paid annually on 31st December
• Unlimited withdrawals and deposits
• Account can be held in sole or joint names

Balance Sterling (£) - Annual gross AER USD ($)- Annual gross AER EURO (€)- Annual gross AER
1,000-4,999 1.00% 0.00% 2.00%
5,000-24,999 1.30% 0.00% 2.10%
25,000+ 1.40% 0.90% 2.20%

Halifax International Fixed Rate Web Saver
Key features:
• A fixed rate of 3.00% annual gross p.a. for 1 year
• Choice of terms - choose between 6 months, 1 year, 2 years or 3 years
• Available in Sterling
• Minimum balance £1,000, maximum balance £1 million

Term Annual gross AER% Gross % p.a.
6 month 2.11% 2.10%
One year 2.20% 2.20%
Two Year 2.00% 2.00%
Three year 2.00% 2.00%

Interest is paid on maturity for the six month and one year term. Interest is paid annually for the two and three year term account.

Halifax International Portfolio Plus Issue One
Key features:
• Opportunity to earn up to 5% p.a. each year for the 3 year term, subject to the FTSE 100 remaining at, or increasing above the start date level.
• 100% of deposit returned after 3 years
• Each year, any return is rolled over into a Sterling Variable Rate Halifax International Web Saver
• Minimum deposit is £10,000.
• Last date for applications is 25th March 2009, subject to availability

Rates correct as of 6th March 2009.
Halifax International provides simple offshore savings to British expatriates through internet and telephone banking services. The savings accounts are available in sterling, euros or US dollars and are specifically designed to meet the needs of British expatriates who are resident abroad. For more information please visit

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