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Old 10.08.2015, 11:59
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Swiss Mortgages for Americans

Our Swiss bank recently said they will close our mortgage on our house in Switzerland because we live in America.

My husband & I both have Swiss passports but we live full time in the states.

We return to Switzerland every summer.

Has anyone dealt with this problem?

Doe anyone know of a Swiss Bank that will lend on a swiss property to Americans?

Thanks!
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Old 10.08.2015, 12:29
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Re: Swiss Mortgages for Americans

There are thought to be three retail banks in Switzerland which maintain "US Desks" for Americans living in Switzerland, including dual US-Swiss citizens. The rest of the 300 banks have generally tossed out anyone with the US Person taint. These retail banks are:
UBS
Credit Suisse
PostFinance

I would check with UBS and Credit Suisse. PostFinance markets mortgages for two other banks and does not offer them to US Persons. (See linked article below).

This same news article from 2012 mentions that Raiffeisen was offering mortgages on Swiss property for Swiss living in the US:

http://aso.ch/files/webcontent/recht...-12_Banken.pdf

Added:
This list from the Auslandschweizer-Organisation shows Swiss banks that will deal with Swiss abroad. Many banks place limitations on services to US Persons and US Persons in the US:

http://www.aso.ch/files/webcontent/r...elle_WEB_E.pdf

I enjoyed this one from BCV:
"Restriction opening a new account: US; Iran; Syria, North Korea as well as countries with foreign exchange control"

Last edited by Mullhollander; 10.08.2015 at 12:55. Reason: Additional information
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Old 10.08.2015, 13:03
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Re: Swiss Mortgages for Americans

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I enjoyed this one from BCV:
"Restriction opening a new account: US; Iran; Syria, North Korea as well as countries with foreign exchange control"
Looks pretty much like the Axis of Evil to me...
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Old 11.08.2015, 08:54
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Re: Swiss Mortgages for Americans

The Auslandschweizer-Organisation has an FAQ on this topic. It suggests reviewing the Discussion board at the swisscommunity.org website:

"I am a Swiss citizen abroad and I am having difficulty opening or holding an account in Switzerland. Some banks levy very high bank charges to manage the accounts of people domiciled abroad. What can I do?

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad regularly receives letters of this nature. Legally, the banks benefit from freedom of contract. They therefore have the right to decide whether or not to establish a banking relationship with a client for their own reasons. The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad advises persons concerned to contact small banks or banks with a more restricted geographical area of activity, such as the cantonal banks or branches of Raiffeisen, etc. Some Swiss abroad seem to have found solutions in this way. However, responses can vary from one branch to the next and it is therefore worthwhile enquiring with different branches of the same bank. We also recommend asking the banks concerned if there are alternatives to make account management easier (for instance, by nominating a person of trust in Switzerland to receive mail). Other people seem to have resolved their problems by contacting Postfinance. However, it should be noted that this situation is constantly evolving and these options are subject to change at any time. The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad also wishes to point out that having a bank account in Switzerland does not constitute an exemption from declaring it in the account holder's country of residence.

We also advise anyone who contacts us about this matter to follow the discussions on the Swisscommunity.org website where the Swiss abroad exchange their experiences and provide each other with advice, in particular concerning the solutions they have found. www.swisscommunity.org"

http://aso.ch/en/consultation/living...faq-1287740334

https://www.swisscommunity.org/en/homepage
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Old 11.08.2015, 09:50
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Re: Swiss Mortgages for Americans

As I understood from my bank, one of the big 2, it has nothing to do with being american (passport) but all to do with living in the USA (resident in the US). I would happen to any nationality if you living in the states they informed me. They told me that indeed clients were forced into selling their property for this reason. Otherwise they shopped around to try to find a sympathtic bank.

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Our Swiss bank recently said they will close our mortgage on our house in Switzerland because we live in America.

My husband & I both have Swiss passports but we live full time in the states.

We return to Switzerland every summer.

Has anyone dealt with this problem?

Doe anyone know of a Swiss Bank that will lend on a swiss property to Americans?

Thanks!
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Old 11.08.2015, 11:31
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Re: Swiss Mortgages for Americans

When looking for mortgage providers recently, the guy from UBS actually asked this very question. I was actually quite surprised since I thought UBS were one of the few banks who would deal with US taxpayers.
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Old 11.08.2015, 11:49
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Re: Swiss Mortgages for Americans

My being American when we got our mortgage 4 years ago nearly caused the whole thing to go down the drain. Our bank manager at UBS either had forgotten or didn't know that I was American so when he asked for our Swiss permits and passports I drew out my American one as that was the one I entered Switzerland with and registered as resident. Oops, hang on I need to make a phone call. Luckily the higher-ups agreed to let the mortgage go ahead. But that incident was what prompted me to start looking at FATCA and all its associated problems which led to my renunciation. We'll be due to re-negotiate the mortgage next year and I dread to think what might have happened if I were still an American.
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Old 11.08.2015, 13:12
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Re: Swiss Mortgages for Americans

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My being American when we got our mortgage 4 years ago nearly caused the whole thing to go down the drain. Our bank manager at UBS either had forgotten or didn't know that I was American so when he asked for our Swiss permits and passports I drew out my American one as that was the one I entered Switzerland with and registered as resident. Oops, hang on I need to make a phone call. Luckily the higher-ups agreed to let the mortgage go ahead. But that incident was what prompted me to start looking at FATCA and all its associated problems which led to my renunciation. We'll be due to re-negotiate the mortgage next year and I dread to think what might have happened if I were still an American.
A commenter at Isaac Brock Society met with US Senate Finance Committee staff to discuss the impact that FATCA is having on Americans abroad. This is an excerpt from "Shadow Raider's" notes:

"Eric Oman asked what people are doing after being refused banking services due to FATCA. I said that they are either renouncing US citizenship, or finding a bank that will serve them with only checking and savings but without investments. Tony turned to Tiffany and told her that even Democrats are contacting them and saying how desperate they are with FATCA. "

It seems the only way for an American abroad to live a normal life is to renounce US citizenship. Possibly it will get better when Obama has been put out to pasture in 18 months, but that's more hope than anything else.

* - Eric Oman, Tony (Coughlan) and Tiffany (Smith) were the three staff members.
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