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Old 10.11.2010, 20:20
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PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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."
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Old 10.11.2010, 21:50
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

And nationality/citizenship is mentioned where?
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Old 10.11.2010, 21:56
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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."
How does being a US person qualify as a race, ethnicity or religion?
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Old 10.11.2010, 21:56
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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And nationality/citizenship is mentioned where?
That would be ethnicity.
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Old 10.11.2010, 22:56
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

Waveman, it is increasingly frustrating being a US citizen with financial interests overseas. I certainly sympathize.

But your outrage would be better directed towards the policies of the US government and the IRS.

Compliance with regulations governing US citizens' financial activities have made it increasingly difficult and expensive to do busines with US customers - some institutions have determined that, given the nature of their business, a US customer represents more pain than profit and is simply not worth the headaches the blue passport holder brings.

Do something constructive - write your senator and representative, get involved with the ACA, etc. The problem is that overseas Americans are a disparate lot, we don't have much of a voice, or lobby - we sort of get lost in the shuffle. So speak up, make your concerns known - but direct them to the folks who caused this cluster &^%$ in the first place.
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Old 10.11.2010, 23:22
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

Hello and welcome to the Forum

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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.
Err, no. Nor all. Just some categories.

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This sounds like ethnic discrimination to me.
Err, no. Even were it true (see above), it would be discrimination based on nationality.


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Anybody interested in putting group (legal?) pressure on them about this?
Err, no. Not in the slightest. To quote the old saw, "Never mistake self-interest for altruism, even when it's hunting in packs."


But. apart from the factual inexactitudes, a very nice first post - you'll enjoy EF, I'm sure

(Actually, because of them, you'll fit right in )
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Old 11.11.2010, 01:03
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

If you had bothered to use the search function before waltzing in guns blazing, your questions would have been answered... several times over. Here's one version...
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Old 11.11.2010, 01:19
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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...
Can anybody provide a reliable source where (any part of) this is documented?

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...Err, no. Nor all. Just some categories...
And where are these categories specified?
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Old 11.11.2010, 01:22
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

Yeah well, US Gov/IRS automatically assume anybody living in Switzerland, US citizen or no, to be hiding ill-gotten gains, while the Swiss consider the US to be irresponsible fiscal cowboys claiming extra-territorial rights at cockamamie legal gunpoint.

...go figure.
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Old 11.11.2010, 10:44
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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.
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Old 11.11.2010, 20:27
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

I did search and didn't find anything about this particular aspect. I'm an existing customer being thrown out.
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Old 11.11.2010, 20:28
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

And of course, PostFinance is part of the federal government, which also makes this a difference.
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Old 11.11.2010, 20:29
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

How about an official letter from PostFinance and an email confirming it. Deadline is Nov. 15th.
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Old 11.11.2010, 20:33
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

[QUOTE=weejeem;1008681]Hello and welcome to the Forum



Err, no. Even were it true (see above), it would be discrimination based on nationality.


OED: "of or relating to a population subgroup (within a larger or dominant national or cultural group) with a common national or cultural tradition"

It's very American of you to think that you aren't a ethnic minority abroad. How many hundred years are necessary until America has it's own ethnic identity? How many changes in "ethnic mixing" have happened in Europe, South America or Asia over just a few generations, that blurs such distinctions?
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Old 11.11.2010, 20:37
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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.
Yeah the US government is funny that way when their citizens avoid taxes and foreign banks assist them in doing this.. go figure. It's the Internal Revenue Service that you mean
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Old 11.11.2010, 20:41
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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Waveman, it is increasingly frustrating being a US citizen with financial interests overseas. I certainly sympathize.

But your outrage would be better directed towards the policies of the US government and the IRS.

Compliance with regulations governing US citizens' financial activities have made it increasingly difficult and expensive to do busines with US customers - some institutions have determined that, given the nature of their business, a US customer represents more pain than profit and is simply not worth the headaches the blue passport holder brings.

Do something constructive - write your senator and representative, get involved with the ACA, etc. The problem is that overseas Americans are a disparate lot, we don't have much of a voice, or lobby - we sort of get lost in the shuffle. So speak up, make your concerns known - but direct them to the folks who caused this cluster &^%$ in the first place.
Who would be my senator or representative if i live overseas?
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Old 11.11.2010, 20:42
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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Yeah well, US Gov/IRS automatically assume anybody living in Switzerland, US citizen or no, to be hiding ill-gotten gains, while the Swiss consider the US to be irresponsible fiscal cowboys claiming extra-territorial rights at cockamamie legal gunpoint.

...go figure.
But Switzerland caved in cause they knew they had no choice ... go figure
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Old 11.11.2010, 20:43
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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.
PostFinance has over a million customers and keeps Post out of the red. It is also directed at a wide audience. Finally it's part of the Swiss federal government.

Several banks don't do this, e.g. Credit Suisse, SwissQuote and Migros Bank (I'm a customer with the first two and got a confirmation from the third). I make the case that what they are doing violates the law I cited and I'm trying to fight.

I also will send a lot of letters on the American side. The end result, according to my US tax consultant, is that Americans, who can, are giving up their passports in droves (waiting list at the Embassy in Bern is over a year long).
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Old 11.11.2010, 21:02
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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PostFinance has over a million customers and keeps Post out of the red. It is also directed at a wide audience. Finally it's part of the Swiss federal government.

Several banks don't do this, e.g. Credit Suisse, SwissQuote and Migros Bank (I'm a customer with the first two and got a confirmation from the third). I make the case that what they are doing violates the law I cited and I'm trying to fight.

I also will send a lot of letters on the American side. The end result, according to my US tax consultant, is that Americans, who can, are giving up their passports in droves (waiting list at the Embassy in Bern is over a year long).
Rich Americans and overall the number is extremely small compared to the number of Americans that live overseas
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Old 11.11.2010, 21:56
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Re: PostFinance E-Trading US Person Discrimination

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PostFinance has over a million customers and keeps Post out of the red. It is also directed at a wide audience. Finally it's part of the Swiss federal government.

Several banks don't do this, e.g. Credit Suisse, SwissQuote and Migros Bank (I'm a customer with the first two and got a confirmation from the third). I make the case that what they are doing violates the law I cited and I'm trying to fight.
Especially BECAUSE it is part of the Swiss government, PostFinance can't afford to set a foot wrong in this matter. If you read the other thread I suggested, you will see why an increasing number of banks will not touch a US Person with a seven foot barge pole unless said US Person is a HNWI. Your outraged is completely misdirected here.
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