If the last expat fleeing Spain could switch the light off

Expats who moved to their idyllic place in the sun in Spain are queuing up to sell their homes after years of plunging property values, inflation and economic woes as the country is beset by growing sovereign debt problems.

At least one in three Brits would sell if they could and leave for the UK – but many are financial hostages as their homes are worse less than their mortgages after values have plummetted 25% from their peak in 2007.

To add to their problems, the country has dipped back in to recession, unemployment is running at 25% and property prices are still falling as banks try to divest their balance sheets of repossessed homes.

Many Brits overseas are concerned that bank or financial institution in the Eurozone may collapse, leaving them wiped out of savings.

Financial advisers suggest ex pats share their cash between a number of banks to make sure they benefit from the €100,000 money protection limit offered on their accounts.

The pitfall comes by putting cash in to different banks that are not owned by the same company, as the limit applies to all accounts with one bank not per account.

“It is best to spread your savings over as many savings institutions as possible – never holding more than £85,000 in each. If you are one of the many people concerned, you could consider limiting your exposure to the Euro by bringing some of the funds held in Euro bank accounts back to the UK,” said mark Bodega of currency exchange specialists HiFX.

“Alternatively if your funds are in the UK, and you’re used to sending one larger amount each year to a Euro bank account to cover the costs of a property or life abroad, you might want to consider sending smaller amounts to the eurozone more frequently to allow you to take advantage of future Euro weakness.”