Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Finance/banking/taxation
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01.04.2015, 15:57
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Geneva
Posts: 3
Groaned at 4 Times in 1 Post
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
MerisM has become a little unpopularMerisM has become a little unpopular
Swiss bank harassment

While in the US, caring for my dying mother, away from my home country, and having to pay bills, including medical and living expenses for my mother, a bank officer at UBS threatened to block these payments. Now I read with astonishment (http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/crackdow...22224#comments) that even Swiss citizens residing temporarily in the US are being harassed by UBS and other Swiss banks - even closing accounts while these Swiss citizens are in the US! The UBS officer also pressured me into signing a form which I believe is destined for persons residing in the US holding private UBS accounts. I refused to sign it and broke off communication with her. Later, another UBS officer, upon receiving my letter authorizing payments, acted on my instructions with no questions asked, which makes me suspect that the first officer was not acting according to regulations.

This has much do with the US coming down hard on the underhanded dealings of Swiss banks in the US.

After consulting a lawyer in Geneva who could not help me or find anyone who could (don't they all have accounts with UBS?), a legal expert in the Swiss consumer group "Bon à savoir" put me on to the Swiss Banking Ombudsman (http://www.bankingombudsman.ch/fr/) who deals with client/bank conflicts, whom I have now addressed for answers: Is this legal? If the cause for blocking payments or accounts is not foreseen in the General Conditions for the account or if the bank's interpretation seems incorrect ("non-conforme"), wrote the legal expert, then one has the right to oppose this practice.

It may take a while for the Ombudsman to reply. I will share the reply on this forum.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users groan at MerisM for this post:
  #2  
Old 01.04.2015, 16:11
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 13,781
Groaned at 209 Times in 181 Posts
Thanked 11,094 Times in 6,293 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss bank harassment

Quote:
View Post
While in the US, caring for my dying mother, away from my home country, and having to pay bills, including medical and living expenses for my mother, a bank officer at UBS threatened to block these payments. Now I read with astonishment (http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/crackdow...22224#comments) that even Swiss citizens residing temporarily in the US are being harassed by UBS and other Swiss banks - even closing accounts while these Swiss citizens are in the US! The UBS officer also pressured me into signing a form which I believe is destined for persons residing in the US holding private UBS accounts. I refused to sign it and broke off communication with her. Later, another UBS officer, upon receiving my letter authorizing payments, acted on my instructions with no questions asked, which makes me suspect that the first officer was not acting according to regulations.

This has much do with the US coming down hard on the underhanded dealings of Swiss banks in the US.

After consulting a lawyer in Geneva who could not help me or find anyone who could (don't they all have accounts with UBS?), a legal expert in the Swiss consumer group "Bon à savoir" put me on to the Swiss Banking Ombudsman (http://www.bankingombudsman.ch/fr/) who deals with client/bank conflicts, whom I have now addressed for answers: Is this legal? If the cause for blocking payments or accounts is not foreseen in the General Conditions for the account or if the bank's interpretation seems incorrect ("non-conforme"), wrote the legal expert, then one has the right to oppose this practice.

It may take a while for the Ombudsman to reply. I will share the reply on this forum.
If you don't sign the forms allowing them to break client confidentiality the can block your account forever.
Probably best to come clean & declare your hidden assets with the IRS.
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank fatmanfilms for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 01.04.2015, 19:40
dodgyken's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Democratic Republic Kenistan
Posts: 9,840
Groaned at 340 Times in 276 Posts
Thanked 17,510 Times in 6,686 Posts
dodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond reputedodgyken has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss bank harassment

Swiss Banks absolutely love American clients mainly because the US has never fined a Swiss bank.

TRUE FACT.

Reply With Quote
The following 8 users would like to thank dodgyken for this useful post:
This user groans at dodgyken for this post:
  #4  
Old 01.04.2015, 19:56
Today only's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Europe
Posts: 3,761
Groaned at 484 Times in 294 Posts
Thanked 4,018 Times in 1,997 Posts
Today only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss bank harassment

You think they really care, they'll just claim it was a process of due dillegance and request you close your acount forthwith.

Problem solved, at least for the bank !
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Today only for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 01.04.2015, 19:57
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: ZH
Posts: 4,460
Groaned at 55 Times in 45 Posts
Thanked 2,171 Times in 1,316 Posts
SOBEIT has a reputation beyond reputeSOBEIT has a reputation beyond reputeSOBEIT has a reputation beyond reputeSOBEIT has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss bank harassment

Quote:
View Post
Swiss Banks absolutely love American clients mainly because the US has never fined a Swiss bank.

TRUE FACT.


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...llio/?page=all
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01.04.2015, 22:38
me.anon's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: thun
Posts: 1,454
Groaned at 22 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 1,768 Times in 870 Posts
me.anon has a reputation beyond reputeme.anon has a reputation beyond reputeme.anon has a reputation beyond reputeme.anon has a reputation beyond reputeme.anon has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss bank harassment

Quote:
View Post
It may take a while for the Ombudsman to reply. I will share the reply on this forum.
The Ombudsman will full of praise for the UBS's handling of this matter, because it (the UBS) will be seen as taking a concrete step to lessen the risk/damage of yet another US led assault on the Swiss banking system.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank me.anon for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 02.04.2015, 14:52
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Zürich
Posts: 780
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 408 Times in 250 Posts
ChrisNeedsToKnow has a reputation beyond reputeChrisNeedsToKnow has a reputation beyond reputeChrisNeedsToKnow has a reputation beyond reputeChrisNeedsToKnow has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss bank harassment

Quote:
View Post
...even Swiss citizens residing temporarily in the US are being harassed by UBS and other Swiss banks...
It´s not Swiss banks harassing anyone because they´re mean, it´s the US harassing Swiss banks, who in turn do what they have to do.

Best to do if you want to avoid this: Do not have (or try to obtain) US citizenship, do not live in the US, do not stay in the US for more than x days per year. (I think x=180; not sure)

I was seriously not amused that, as the condition to get a Swiss bank account, I had to sign a paper that (all of above) isn´t the case with me. Imagine we´d have to sign a paper for any random country in the world, although it´s a purely EU/Swiss domestic matter. I´m Belgian, living in Switzerland, yet I have to declare something to US authorities. What if we´d ask them to do the same? They´d only laugh! That´s what annoys me.

Ceratinly not "Swiss banks harassment" towards anyone.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank ChrisNeedsToKnow for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 02.04.2015, 15:05
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 18,147
Groaned at 926 Times in 722 Posts
Thanked 19,740 Times in 9,484 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss bank harassment

Quote:
View Post
do not stay in the US for more than x days per year. (I think x=180; not sure)
No, x=30.

Tom
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank st2lemans for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 02.04.2015, 15:09
olygirl's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: d' Innerschwiiz
Posts: 5,062
Groaned at 225 Times in 148 Posts
Thanked 10,872 Times in 3,321 Posts
olygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss bank harassment

Switzerland should never have agreed to FATCA.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank olygirl for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 02.04.2015, 15:14
Laempefescht's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Zürich, Switzerland
Posts: 249
Groaned at 4 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 224 Times in 94 Posts
Laempefescht has earned some respectLaempefescht has earned some respect
Re: Swiss bank harassment

It really is the US that's harrassing the Swiss banks.

You can transfer your accounts to a few small/private banks and not have this problem.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02.04.2015, 19:29
aSwissInTheUS's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Zurich area
Posts: 5,062
Groaned at 40 Times in 38 Posts
Thanked 7,138 Times in 3,241 Posts
aSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss bank harassment

Quote:
View Post
No, x=30.

Tom
30 o.k.
31 resident.

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...-Presence-Test
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank aSwissInTheUS for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 02.04.2015, 20:28
Phil_MCR's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 11,485
Groaned at 246 Times in 157 Posts
Thanked 13,338 Times in 5,682 Posts
Phil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss bank harassment

come now, don't go scaring people:

Quote:
# 31 days during the current year, and
# 183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that, counting:
##All the days you were present in the current year, and
##1/3 of the days you were present in the first year before the current year, and
##1/6 of the days you were present in the second year before the current year.
and even if you fail that, you have the closer connection tests.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Phil_MCR for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 06.04.2015, 01:13
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Zurich
Posts: 3,774
Groaned at 116 Times in 74 Posts
Thanked 5,547 Times in 1,957 Posts
Kittster has a reputation beyond reputeKittster has a reputation beyond reputeKittster has a reputation beyond reputeKittster has a reputation beyond reputeKittster has a reputation beyond reputeKittster has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss bank harassment

Quote:
View Post
Switzerland should never have agreed to FATCA.
Because the US are well-known for being totally flexible on having other countries share their view of the world, so it was more a case of Helvetia going "go on then, Uncle Sam my old buddy, since you asked so nicely"...


[/sarcasm]

To the OP - I'm sorry to hear about your personal situation, however, UBS is simply trying to not get into more trouble with the US and also doing its best to apply a law that is both rather vague and ultra strict. Brilliant work from the US lawyers there, as it basically allows the government to tighten any screws as it finds them while setting fines at a level that would bankrupt certain banks if they put a foot wrong. You did hear about certain financial institutions handing in their banking licenses, right? This is not about you, trust me.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Kittster for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 06.04.2015, 07:20
Corbets's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Zug, CH
Posts: 2,840
Groaned at 155 Times in 111 Posts
Thanked 5,382 Times in 1,839 Posts
Corbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond reputeCorbets has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss bank harassment

Quote:
View Post
Because the US are well-known for being totally flexible on having other countries share their view of the world, so it was more a case of Helvetia going "go on then, Uncle Sam my old buddy, since you asked so nicely"...


[/sarcasm]
Yes, it's so much better to give in to the bully each time in the hopes that next time, he'll be nicer about it.

The simple solution was to demand reciprocity. On the surface, it sounds entirely reasonable, but there's no way the U.S. would have accepted it. It might, at least, have been a rallying point for the rest of the wold to gather around.
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank Corbets for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 06.04.2015, 23:45
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: ZH
Posts: 3
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
pcman has no particular reputation at present
Re: Swiss bank harassment

Times have changed. Nobody likes to do all the compliance work. In my humble opinion one has to be pro active. Such matters are best discussed in person. I would make an appointment with the branch manager. Bring along some documents that show what the circumstances are like. Think about what papers you will allow them to scan.

Surely after having all the facts and knowing you personally UBS will allow transfers and not hassle you again.

If not open an account at some smaller bank and inform them when opening account about the regular transfers.

All the best.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07.04.2015, 01:25
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ostschweiz
Posts: 3,059
Groaned at 99 Times in 79 Posts
Thanked 3,803 Times in 1,962 Posts
Urs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss bank harassment

Quote:
View Post
Yes, it's so much better to give in to the bully each time in the hopes that next time, he'll be nicer about it.

The simple solution was to demand reciprocity. On the surface, it sounds entirely reasonable, but there's no way the U.S. would have accepted it. It might, at least, have been a rallying point for the rest of the wold to gather around.
Not doable. The US have the ability to exclude swiss banks from trading USD (just as any central bank can preclude any given entity from trading its currency). Problem is, there's no way around the USD in todays world so CH banks, and CH altogether, had no choice.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Urs Max for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Swiss private bank vs Global Bank (developer) mario.gomez Employment 3 21.08.2014 22:37
Swiss National Bank agrees to currency swap with People's Bank of China 3Wishes Finance/banking/taxation 3 21.07.2014 22:07
Swiss Bank Account Closed by Bank Lorelei Finance/banking/taxation 26 01.07.2011 10:56
Immigration/Swiss authorities will remove swiss Bank foreign employees HAT Permits/visas/government 42 21.02.2011 16:08
Swiss real estate price trends from the Swiss National Bank Swissmountainair Housing in general 0 23.03.2010 12:34


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 08:09.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0