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  #21  
Old 11.11.2010, 23:21
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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How about an official letter from PostFinance and an email confirming it. Deadline is Nov. 15th.
That would do.

If it's just your brokerage account that they're shutting down (not a deposit account), maybe it's further servitude to the US that they're trying to avoid. A brokerage account by definition is one where you (expect to) have gains. The US govt. may be pressuring CH about getting direct access to such info for tax purposes, and CH won't be bothered with becoming a de facto IRS agent.

As for your legal challenge, I think you'd be hard pressed to prove that US nationality is somehow a single ethnicity. There are US citizens of almost every possible ethnicity. What they have in common is not an ethnicity, but a civil standing with the state that is the federal government of the US.
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  #22  
Old 11.11.2010, 23:30
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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Who would be my senator or representative if i live overseas?
The senators from the state and congresscritters from the district in which you are registered to vote.
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  #23  
Old 02.12.2010, 16:24
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

I just applied as a US person for a Swissquote trading account and was successful with the online portion. Now waiting for my sign up packet in the post. However, I am prohibited from using Swissquote to trade any US securities/products. That's fine with me -- my goal is to start positions in Swiss dividend-paying stocks and have these assets and dividends denominated in Swiss francs.

However, the following Q and A from their online FAQ puzzles me and I'm wondering if any of you Swissquote users could help. I would like, over the long term, after I'm retired (here in CH), to withdraw dividend income from my account. Before I "make an appointment with Customer Care" as the FAQ suggests, can anyone explain to me what the fee is and how easy or hard it is to claim my funds as needed? Many thanks!


Can I withdraw cash from my account or pay cash into it?
Yes, you can withdraw cash from your account or pay cash in by previous appointment. Please note, however, that there is a fee for this transaction. Please contact our Customer Care Center for an appointment.
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  #24  
Old 02.12.2010, 16:31
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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My free translation
"... whoever refuses his service, which he offers to the general public, to a group of persons bases on race, ethnicity or religion,

shall be punished with a prison term of up to three years or a fine."
...and since when is the US a race, ethnicity or a religion?
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  #25  
Old 07.12.2010, 18:12
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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I work for a Swiss online bank (Keytrade Bank) and can fully confirm Melloncollie's posting. We have the same policy towards "US Persons". This has nothing to do with discrimination. The responsibility and reporting requirements the US Inland Revenue imposes on us when dealing with US clients is just too cumbersome for a bank with a low cost business model. Best regards.
What is the difference between a US citizen and a US person ?
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  #26  
Old 07.12.2010, 18:19
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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What is the difference between a US citizen and a US person ?
presumably a person refers to a legal person and so also includes entities such as companies. whereas a citizen would be an individual human being.
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  #27  
Old 07.12.2010, 18:43
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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Who would be my senator or representative if i live overseas?
The one state were you last lived. This is also where you vote. Or as was listed above, the one that you are registered to vote if you never have lived in the US. To be honest, if someone has never lived in the US I don't know which state you are assigned to. I would imagine there is a default state.
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  #28  
Old 07.12.2010, 18:45
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

Complications to US citizens do arise from tougher regulation at home. It is not a surprise to see why a financial institutions does not want a US citizen as a customer... they can allegate that they are not profitable due to all the compliance regulations. I do not see a case on gender, ethnicity or religion discrimination.
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  #29  
Old 08.12.2010, 10:08
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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What is the difference between a US citizen and a US person ?
I believe US person refers all those subject to US tax laws, ie. citizens plus greencard holders and the like.
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  #30  
Old 23.08.2011, 15:25
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

It looks like GenevaLunch has covered this in the following article, which also references Le Matin:

US citizens’ bank dilemma growing (update)

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Le Matin Dimanche (available online only to subscribers) ran a full-page article Sunday entitled “American clients ejected by Swiss banks”, which focuses on the impact on Swiss residents with US connections, of the new US Fatca law, signed into law in March 2010. It goes into effect in 2013.

The newspaper’s argument is that Swiss banks are no longer accepting Americans who live in Switzerland as clients, a fact born out by some of the nearly 80 personal stories from around the world registered with ACA (American Citizens Abroad), as well as numerous anecdotes that GenevaLunch has collected.
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One man who is getting close to retirement tried to move funds to a PostFinance account but was told that as an American investment funds are closed to him. PostFinance, as an arm of the Swiss government, which must legally respect Swiss banking secrecy laws, may have a tough time complying with Fatca legislation. Smaller banks, including regional banks, have said the cost may be too high.
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  #31  
Old 23.08.2011, 19:24
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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It looks like GenevaLunch has covered this in the following article, which also references Le Matin:

US citizens’ bank dilemma growing (update)
I just opened a PostFinance bank account a few weeks ago.

That being said, I do not have a trading account.
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  #32  
Old 23.08.2011, 19:50
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I know a French & us passport holder working on GE, he always forgets he has a US passport & claims to be French. Some forms also ask if he is also a US person, he never completes those ones......
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  #33  
Old 19.09.2011, 23:55
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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What is the difference between a US citizen and a US person ?
US person is anyone that resides in the US or has a significant relationship.

US citizen is someone born there who has the right to citizenship but no substantial US nexus.
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  #34  
Old 20.09.2011, 02:19
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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US person is anyone that resides in the US or has a significant relationship.

US citizen is someone born there who has the right to citizenship but no substantial US nexus.
should clarify,

US person is any person, whether american or not, that lives in the United States or has a specific visa class that makes them liable to pay tax. I.e. VISA holders (other than tourist / business visa holders), green card holders, and so on.

US citizen is also classified as a US person regardless of where they are domiciled. So if they are an American living in Antarctica, they are still a US person. With the first category, a US person could be someone who is working in Idaho at a potato farm from say, Glarus...
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  #35  
Old 20.09.2011, 17:59
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

Exactly, so the close the loop for the sake of taxes, IRS jursidiction and bank accounts the only thing that matters if you are a liable to pay taxes in the US. By definition all US citizens are unless they have renounced their citizenship and all green card/temporary work permit holders are unless they have renounced their green card.

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should clarify,

US person is any person, whether american or not, that lives in the United States or has a specific visa class that makes them liable to pay tax. I.e. VISA holders (other than tourist / business visa holders), green card holders, and so on.

US citizen is also classified as a US person regardless of where they are domiciled. So if they are an American living in Antarctica, they are still a US person. With the first category, a US person could be someone who is working in Idaho at a potato farm from say, Glarus...
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  #36  
Old 20.09.2011, 18:32
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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PostFinance is throwing out all US persons out of their brokerage accounts, regardless of residency in Switzerland or even dual Swiss citizenship. This sounds like ethnic discrimination to me.

Anybody interested in putting group (legal?) pressure on them about this?

Here's the Swiss law:
SR 311.0 Schweizerisches Strafgesetzbuch Art. 261 Rassendiskriminierung
"...wer eine von ihm angebotene Leistung, die für die Allgemeinheit bestimmt ist, einer Person oder einer Gruppe von Personen wegen ihrer Rasse, Ethnie oder Religion verweigert,

wird mit Freiheitsstrafe bis zu drei Jahren oder Geldstrafe bestraft."

My free translation
"... whoever refuses his service, which he offers to the general public, to a group of persons bases on race, ethnicity or religion,

shall be punished with a prison term of up to three years or a fine."
Not surprising to see this being implemented at another institution as UBS has not been allowing US citizens to open brokerage accounts for a few years now (the only exception being private banking). It's annoying that our government/IRS makes our lives as expats so difficult!
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  #37  
Old 20.09.2011, 19:11
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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Exactly, so the close the loop for the sake of taxes, IRS jursidiction and bank accounts the only thing that matters if you are a liable to pay taxes in the US. By definition all US citizens are unless they have renounced their citizenship and all green card/temporary work permit holders are unless they have renounced their green card.
indeed makes people think before they go to the US on a temporary work permit especially no ?
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  #38  
Old 21.09.2011, 01:38
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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Not surprising to see this being implemented at another institution as UBS has not been allowing US citizens to open brokerage accounts for a few years now (the only exception being private banking). It's annoying that our government/IRS makes our lives as expats so difficult!
well, there are a couple of solutions

Solution 1 is to renounce your citizenship.
There is up to a 2 year wait to do this at some embassies and consulates, and you will be considered a traitor if you ever decide to try and go back...

Solution 2 is to work on having another citizenship and bury your US passport deep in your bag. Caveat is when you apply for your new passport, it will ask you where you are born. If you put New York, obviously there aren't too many new yorks in say Germany or Ireland - so they can tell that you were born in the USA and therefore they know under Section 14 of the constitution that you were a US person.



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indeed makes people think before they go to the US on a temporary work permit especially no ?
Actually, temporary work permits are easier because they have an expiry date, so after that date has lapsed someone won't be considered a US person anymore.

It's the green card / born in the USA while on holiday thing.
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  #39  
Old 21.09.2011, 03:05
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

I don't know where your definitions are coming from, but the law — TITLE 26, § (7701(a)(30)(A) — doesn't differentiate between permit/no permit or legal/illegal. It simply says "citizen or resident".
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Old 21.09.2011, 04:35
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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I don't know where your definitions are coming from, but the law — TITLE 26, § (7701(a)(30)(A) — doesn't differentiate between permit/no permit or legal/illegal. It simply says "citizen or resident".
well generally an illegal immigrant in the united states has little desire to open an offshore banking relationship in switzerland.
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