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Old 23.06.2012, 23:30
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Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

I was informed by my bank this last week to be prepared as in a month, 2 maybe, then end of the year I would need to close my bank account, not with Die Poste(but I am not at Die Poste and it was only stated that maybe they were still taking Americans on).

Apparently ALL US citizens living in Switzerland will have to close their accounts do to a measure that was passed by the Swiss government and that maybe Die Poste would take me on. I mean, how is my employer to pay to me? By cash at the end of each month? I won't write any senators, because of tax dodgers. This is a discriminatary law in reaction to the US saying it's not OK to actively try to hide rich people's money from inheritance taxes(which have to be paid here), or their wealth in general(where here I have to declare every bank account or financial gain or holding outside of Switzerland wether I gained it thru residing here or from 20 years ago), but shame on the US for going after rich people not paying into the US system and Swiss bankers that actively seeked them out.

Now normal people trying to work, recieve income, and pay bills here have to retribution. There has been a lot of money that has flowed into this country over the last century that was hidden money making the banking sector more propped up per capita then elsewhere. But that doesn't mean that average people's lives have to become even more difficult who reside here, pay taxes here, buy food at the grocery store that gives jobs to people here, pay rent here, go have a glass of over priced wine here, and on an on...They are penalizing the wrong people.

But hey, finally, by law I am discriminated against. Because I am American I have less rights then a Swiss person, and other immigrants. I can see how making life harder in a country I live in, will make it that much easier for Swiss people to live theirs, and how that will effect Americans thousands of miles away who still use the expression "I'm neutral like Switzerland".

Hardly...
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Old 23.06.2012, 23:45
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

There is no Swiss law like that.

The costs of fully complying with the (American) Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) are simply so high that having (ordinary) American clients is not profitable for the banks.
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Old 24.06.2012, 00:16
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

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... and that maybe Die Poste would take me on.
No such luck: Post Finance cancels accounts of American residents.

See post below for a clarification.

Last edited by RetiredInNH; 24.06.2012 at 01:41.
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Old 24.06.2012, 00:54
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

If Confloozed is a US citizen and living here in Switzerland he can open a account at Die Poste. That is the only place I have found that will do so.

Die Poste will NOT let you open an account if you are a US citizen living in the US.
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Old 24.06.2012, 04:53
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

Thanks Corbets, I have now more stress in my life trying to live here, but you think that it is necessary, bravo!
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Old 24.06.2012, 04:59
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

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If Confloozed is a US citizen and living here in Switzerland he can open a account at Die Poste. That is the only place I have found that will do so.

Die Poste will NOT let you open an account if you are a US citizen living in the US.
I was told at my bank that it could be difficult, but I will give it a try in the next week or so. It's strange, I have done nothing wrong since living here, and because of banking law changes, I have had to change banks 3 times, cut my internet banking, and sell off my investments to meet Swiss banking requirments to live here. And why? I have had the same bank account in the US since I was 3, and as long as I don't go into negative territory it remains open. The bak has merged, sold it's sellf off, and changed ownership about 5 times, and I still have my account.

Apparently some people think my complaining about having to go the the Poste every month to pay with pink slips instead of direct depoing it from my account is an acceptable way of doing things. It's not the only anti American issue there is. I pay into a benefits program from my salary that everyone, almost, gets to draw from every month for a child allowance, in my case it would be 250 CHF, but because I hold a US passport, and not, say a Somali one, I can't get the money for my kids. But the Somali can. He and I pay the same taxes, but I am discriminated against, making my life that much more expensive here. I am amused by people's arrogance.
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Old 24.06.2012, 05:02
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

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There is no Swiss law like that.

The costs of fully complying with the (American) Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) are simply so high that having (ordinary) American clients is not profitable for the banks.
Yes there is. Why is it I go to my bank, and they present me with paperwork in German that says that a recent law/mandate was passed that makes Americans holding accoutns here invalid? Do you think my bak getting ready to remove me as a client is a means of me over reacting to the news? It's not news, it's me losing my accoutn because of a change of Swiss law.
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Old 24.06.2012, 08:10
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

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Thanks Corbets, I have now more stress in my life trying to live here, but you think that it is necessary, bravo!
You're hysterical and spreading misinformation. I'm an American as well, and I have the same annoyances, but there is no Swiss law preventing Americans from having accounts here. Rather, it is a choice by banks thanks to our overreaching US government. You clearly misunderstood the documentation you received.

At the moment, UBS, CS and PostFinance remain options for Americans resident in Switzerland. For the record, Die Schweizerische Post is the parent company, and Die "Poste" doesn't exist.
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Old 24.06.2012, 08:23
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

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I was informed by my bank this last week to be prepared as in a month, 2 maybe, then end of the year I would need to close my bank account, not with Die Poste(but I am not at Die Poste and it was only stated that maybe they were still taking Americans on).

Apparently ALL US citizens living in Switzerland will have to close their accounts do to a measure that was passed by the Swiss government and that maybe Die Poste would take me on. I mean, how is my employer to pay to me? By cash at the end of each month? I won't write any senators, because of tax dodgers. This is a discriminatary law in reaction to the US saying it's not OK to actively try to hide rich people's money from inheritance taxes(which have to be paid here), or their wealth in general(where here I have to declare every bank account or financial gain or holding outside of Switzerland wether I gained it thru residing here or from 20 years ago), but shame on the US for going after rich people not paying into the US system and Swiss bankers that actively seeked them out.

Now normal people trying to work, recieve income, and pay bills here have to retribution. There has been a lot of money that has flowed into this country over the last century that was hidden money making the banking sector more propped up per capita then elsewhere. But that doesn't mean that average people's lives have to become even more difficult who reside here, pay taxes here, buy food at the grocery store that gives jobs to people here, pay rent here, go have a glass of over priced wine here, and on an on...They are penalizing the wrong people.

But hey, finally, by law I am discriminated against. Because I am American I have less rights then a Swiss person, and other immigrants. I can see how making life harder in a country I live in, will make it that much easier for Swiss people to live theirs, and how that will effect Americans thousands of miles away who still use the expression "I'm neutral like Switzerland".

Hardly...
By law ? No, there is no such law and is not to be. However, CH Finance Minister Mrs Widmer-Schlumpf recently stated in an interview that she had told those in Washington /DC that if they did not become more co-operative Switzerland would be forced to drastic steps

The upcoming regulation however will NOT effect PostFinance and also NOT a number of smaller banks like MigrosBank and COOPbank. It however WILL affect UBS and CS and apparently also the larger Cantonal Banks. Details of course are not yet known. Right at present, Mrs Widmer-Schlumpf is in continued negotiations with Washington

Discrimination ? Yes, by the USA government which regards ANY bank-account of US-nationals abroad simply as tax-evading accounts and which regards any bank employee administrating accounts of US nationals as an economic criminal
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Old 24.06.2012, 08:54
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

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...Widmer-Schlumpf...told those in Washington /DC that if they did not become more co-operative Switzerland would be forced to drastic steps...
One can only wonder what those might be.

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...Discrimination ? Yes, by the USA government...
...one of several instances where a blanket "guilty until proven innocent" policy shows the government to be well out of step with the principles upon which the nation was supposedly founded.
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Old 24.06.2012, 09:05
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

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The upcoming regulation however will NOT effect PostFinance and also NOT a number of smaller banks like MigrosBank and COOPbank. It however WILL affect UBS and CS and apparently also the larger Cantonal Banks. Details of course are not yet known. Right at present, Mrs Widmer-Schlumpf is in continued negotiations with Washington
The outline agreement signed by the US and Switzerland states that small banks in Switzerland are to be deemed FFI-compliant. Just who these small banks are is unknown at this time. (Migrosbank is currently tossing out US citizens as customers - I was one.)

Excerpt from "Switzerland and US announce declaration on FATCA implementation":

"Certain financial institutions that operate primarily on a local or regional basis will be deemed compliant with FATCA, (deemed-compliant FFIs)."

http://www.news.admin.ch/message/ind...n&msg-id=45046

http://www.news.admin.ch/NSBSubscrib...ents/27261.pdf

I would also suggest that you write to the US Ambassador to Switzerland on your experience and ask how the State Department plans to assist Americans abroad so that they can live normal lives. His address is:

Mr Donald Beyer, US Ambassador
U.S. Embassy
Sulgeneckstrasse 19
Postfach
CH-3007 Bern

A source of additional information on FATCA and its impact on overseas Americans is the American Citizens Abroad organization at aca.ch

If you are considering renouncing/ relinquishing your US citizenship, a source of information and discussion is the IsaacBrackSociety.ca
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Old 24.06.2012, 09:06
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

We have accounts at our local Raiffeisen bank that we opened last July. At the time they took me, as an American, along with my German husband. A few months ago, I tried to open accounts for my kids there and couldn't, as they no longer open new accounts to anyone with a relationship to the US. Not sure if they will kick me out. I did, very easily, open accounts for my kids at Post Finance.
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Old 24.06.2012, 09:14
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

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Apparently some people think my complaining about having to go the the Poste every month to pay with pink slips instead of direct depoing it from my account is an acceptable way of doing things. It's not the only anti American issue there is. I pay into a benefits program from my salary that everyone, almost, gets to draw from every month for a child allowance, in my case it would be 250 CHF, but because I hold a US passport, and not, say a Somali one, I can't get the money for my kids. But the Somali can. He and I pay the same taxes, but I am discriminated against, making my life that much more expensive here. I am amused by people's arrogance.
To clear up the confusion, postfinance has online banking, and I find the interface extremely easy to work with, and it's in english.

And I'm not sure about your ranting about the child allowance, that one should be coming via your employer... ???
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Old 24.06.2012, 09:24
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

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One can only wonder what those might be.
.
To state it clearly, I do NOT know at all I made my guesses here and expect that the larger banks will be advised/ordered either by the Federal Finance Ministry or the SNB or the FINMA or any other federal institution to close accounts of US citizens. Banks which never were active in the USA business and do NOT have outlets abroad will then of course profit from any such steps.

But again, as far as I read, the negotiations still go on, and Mrs Widmer-Schlumpf hopes for a good and productive final agreement. Those in Washington of course are aware to represent a slightly larger country, but should realise that W-S is a slighly larger personality than the chaps in the US finance ministry
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Old 24.06.2012, 09:28
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

Cofloozed, I know it's a pain in the rear, but seriously the banks aren't discriminating against US citizens. They are simply find, that due to onerous and quite frankly IMO illegal nature of the US tax laws, that it's now an unacceptable risk to have US customers on their books.

Just move your account to post finance, they are bound by law to give an account to anybody resident in Switzerland (at least at the moment). Post finance offers everything you'd expect from a bank, including internet banking, and will be more than adequate, unless you're planning on stashing millions away.

From what I've been reading I'd be inclined to suggest to all our US members that are resident here to also open an account with post finance as a contingency, if you haven't done so already. It looks like it going to get worse before it gets better.
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Old 24.06.2012, 09:32
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

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...If you are considering renouncing/ relinquishing your US citizenship, a source of information and discussion is the IsaacBrockSociety.ca
Fixed typo and added direct link.
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Old 24.06.2012, 09:34
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

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The outline agreement signed by the US and Switzerland states that small banks in Switzerland are to be deemed FFI-compliant. Just who these small banks are is unknown at this time. (Migrosbank is currently tossing out US citizens as customers - I was one.)

Excerpt from "Switzerland and US announce declaration on FATCA implementation":

"Certain financial institutions that operate primarily on a local or regional basis will be deemed compliant with FATCA, (deemed-compliant FFIs)."

http://www.news.admin.ch/message/ind...n&msg-id=45046

http://www.news.admin.ch/NSBSubscrib...ents/27261.pdf

I would also suggest that you write to the US Ambassador to Switzerland on your experience and ask how the State Department plans to assist Americans abroad so that they can live normal lives. His address is:

Mr Donald Beyer, US Ambassador
U.S. Embassy
Sulgeneckstrasse 19
Postfach
CH-3007 Bern

A source of additional information on FATCA and its impact on overseas Americans is the American Citizens Abroad organization at aca.ch

If you are considering renouncing/ relinquishing your US citizenship, a source of information and discussion is the IsaacBrackSociety.ca
YES, but MigrosBank had an unexpected number of US-Americans establishing an account with them, to an extent which may have brought them into trouble. THIS is the reason why they try to reduce this again, I however have no idea on what criteria they work about this and what criteria made YOU a target

NEGATIVE for many US-Americans with residence in Switzerland who are to relinquish their US citizenship are the exceedingly long years needed to become a citizen of your Canton (and the union at the bottom-line). This is a technicality and most likely will remain a technicality. BUT IF your Canton at any time would secede from the union you then automatically would no longer be a citizen of the union.

The whole sh..... is most regrettable, but clearly a result of steps undertaken by the USA government.
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Old 24.06.2012, 09:37
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

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We have accounts at our local Raiffeisen bank that we opened last July. At the time they took me, as an American, along with my German husband. A few months ago, I tried to open accounts for my kids there and couldn't, as they no longer open new accounts to anyone with a relationship to the US. Not sure if they will kick me out. I did, very easily, open accounts for my kids at Post Finance.
Raiffeisen Bank recently acquired a private bank which was deeply engulfed in problems with the USA, and so of course had to react. PostFinance however is NOT active abroad and is owned by the Confederation and so NOT in a critical position.
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Old 24.06.2012, 10:11
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

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YES, but MigrosBank had an unexpected number of US-Americans establishing an account with them, to an extent which may have brought them into trouble. THIS is the reason why they try to reduce this again, I however have no idea on what criteria they work about this and what criteria made YOU a target.
What made me a target to be tossed out of the Migros Bank was, plain and simple, US citizenship. Below is an excerpt from a form letter received from the Migrosbank in April:

"angebot für us-kunden

Die Migros Bank bedient in der Schweiz US-steuerpflichtige Kunden, wenn sie
1.-3. (boiler plate)
4. diese gegenüber der US-amerikanischen Steuerbehörde (IRS) offenlegen
5. wenigstens eine gesperrte Aktie von General Electric (ISIN US3696041033) halten und
6. eine Vereinbarung unterzeichnen, in der sie die Offenlegung bestätigen, auf das Bankkundengeheimnis teilweise verzichten und die Migros Bank in diesem Thema generell schadlos halten."

Migros Bank was forcing me, solely due to the fact that I have US citizenship, to open a brokerage account (Depotkonto) to buy one share of US GE, which would cost CHF 40 per year to maintain, plus a one-time transaction cost to buy the one share (I recall CHF 100). I refused their ultimatum and so I am being tossed out. Migros Bank can go to h....
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Old 24.06.2012, 10:18
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Re: Discriminatory Anti American Banking Law passed

[QUOTE=Curt;1590863]
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YES, but MigrosBank had an unexpected number of US-Americans establishing an account with them, to an extent which may have brought them into trouble. THIS is the reason why they try to reduce this again, I however have no idea on what criteria they work about this and what criteria made YOU a target. /QUOTE]

What made me a target to be tossed out of the Migros Bank was, plain and simple, US citizenship. Below is an excerpt from a form letter received from the Migrosbank in April:

"angebot für us-kunden

Die Migros Bank bedient in der Schweiz US-steuerpflichtige Kunden, wenn sie
1.-3. (boiler plate)
4. diese gegenüber der US-amerikanischen Steuerbehörde (IRS) offenlegen
5. wenigstens eine gesperrte Aktie von General Electric (ISIN US3696041033) halten und
6. eine Vereinbarung unterzeichnen, in der sie die Offenlegung bestätigen, auf das Bankkundengeheimnis teilweise verzichten und die Migros Bank in diesem Thema generell schadlos halten."

Migros Bank was forcing me, solely due to the fact that I have US citizenship, to open a brokerage account (Depotkonto) to buy one share of US GE, which would cost CHF 40 per year to maintain, plus a one-time transaction cost to buy the one share (I recall CHF 100). I refused their ultimatum and so I am being tossed out. Migros Bank can go to h....
While I can understand your anger, I also see that the lawyers of MigrosBank established an escape-road, and CHF 40.-- per year, and some 100.-- at the start is not so much really. They were forced into such manoeuvres by the US government, and neither by the Swiss government nor their own ideas ! What is the conclusion ? The US government can go to h....
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