Have a peak at this screen shot from the ING Direct (France) website:
For non-Francophones, here is the translation of the message box to US citizens from Google translate which does as good a job of French financialeze as what I can do. Perhaps Victoria or Jeff or another could offer some assistance in the comments below [Note: Christophe from France has explained these accounts as brokerage accounts and given some details based on telephone call that he made to ING France].
Information « US Person »: Si vous êtes une « US Person » au sens de la législation américaine, vous ne pouvez pas souscrire à notre Compte Titres ou notre PEA. En effet, le Groupe ING a choisi de ne pas appliquer les règlements fiscaux du Ministère Américain des Finances, ce qui ne nous permet plus la commercialisation de contrat de Compte Titres ou de PEA aux « US Person ». Nous vous remercions de votre compréhension.
L’équipe ING Direct.
Information “US Person” : If you are a “U.S. Person” under U.S. law, you can not subscribe to our Securities Account or our PEA. Indeed, ING Group has chosen not to apply the tax regulations of the U.S. Department of Finance, which no longer allows the sale of Securities Account Agreement with PEA or “U.S. Person”. Thank you for your understanding. The team from ING Direct
I think this is an indication that ING Direct is planning to close the accounts of US persons rather than comply with FATCA.
In Switzerland, one is used to seeing such notices everywhere. Normally no reason is given as to why US persons are not accepted (unless a Swiss bank is selling US domestic securities, in which case SEC regulations are cited). Interestingly, this is the first time though that FATCA is given as the reason.
Much more such notices to come!
FATCA, this anti-American legislation of the US’s own creation is already doing more harm to its citizens than any US hating country could ever do! If you can’t fortress us in, put a glass ceiling over us? How can this be construed as good for America?
Some Japanese brokerages explicitly don’t allow US persons to buy US-based ETFs, due to Qualified Intermediary rules which predate FATCA.
Some have refused to deal with US persons even before that (Citibank Japan’s investment arm and Fidelity Japan, for example).
So these problems are not entirely new with FATCA. FATCA merely represents a yet further limiting of options for US persons abroad to have any semblance of a normal life. (Will it become the straw that breaks the camel’s back?)
This page is specific to brokerage accounts. The products they don’t want to offer to US persons are “Compte titres” and “PEA”, which are stock related accounts.
I did a search on US person on their web page and the list of products they’re refusing to US persons are:
– Life Insurance
– Brokerage account and stock related investments.
I called them to double check. I am not sure the lady I talked to was totally familiar with the restriction. She said that with regards to checking accounts, the condition to open them was fiscal and physical residence in France – meaning as long as the US person lives there and pays taxes there, they should open the account. If the person is married to a French person and does not work, she said that as long as the married couple could provide a tax receipt with both name on it, it should be fine, but still subject to approval. But from what I understood, an American student, who could not justify some income and paying taxes in France would not be allowed to open an account.
The condition is both fiscal and physical residence.
For Savings accounts that are not linked to a debit card (what they call “livret orange”), only physical residence in France is required.
It looks like they’re shielding the standard checking division from the brokerage division, possibly to avoid the 30% withdrawal, but I don’t know if FACTA really makes the difference. It might mean the checking division won’t be FACTA compliant. In that case, I don’t know if the US authorities will still apply the penalties to the brokerage division. After all, this is the same bank.
So it seems that ING is not going to be American friendly. Sadly, I think that this is the way for foreign countries to fight that legislation. When American ambassy personel is going to be denied bank accounts and not be able to live in foreign countries, maybe they’ll do something about it and repeal the law. I wonder how long this is going to take before this happens to US embassy personnel in Bern, Switzerland.
@ Christophe, thanks for the investigative work. I’ll put a link in the post to your comment.
Out of curiosity, I searched for FATCA on Linked In, and it found more than 100 people with FATCA referenced in their jobs. I only have a basic account, so 100 is all I can see, but the implication is that there are more.
Includes KPMG, Lloyds, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Citi, RBC, HSBC, BMO, TD….
When I first heard about this, in maybe early March, I did a similar search and found very few references.
I don’t think there’s any doubt that every bank world-wide will either divest themselves of US person accounts, or comply with FATCA.
I’m not allowed to read the following document, since I’m a “U.S. Person”:
“NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION TO ANY U.S. PERSON (AS DEFINED BELOW) OR IN OR INTO OR TO ANY PERSON LOCATED OR RESIDENT IN OR AT ANY ADDRESS IN THE UNITED STATES, ITS TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS OR TO ANY PERSON LOCATED OR RESIDENT IN ANY OTHER JURISDICTION WHERE IT IS UNLAWFUL TO DISTRIBUTE THIS DOCUMENT.”
ING Life Flexi-Pro is a “branch 23” policy aimed at any investor (except those with “US person” status) wishing to invest at least EUR 250,000 in order to:
*More Bad News For FATCA
Christophe, this is unlikely to affect people on “official” US business. They usually have exchange offices at embassies and military installations.
Amazing though. So if you’re American married to a foreigner, you can’t do the same things / have the same kind of accounts that your non-American spouse can have….. I don’t like being “regulated” by them when I live more than 5,000 kilometers away. Braz. citizenship.. hurry up!
This is starting to become fun:
Any brokerage and investment advisory services described herein are not
intended for U.S. Persons. Furthermore, any solicitation on this web
site of retail banking services (including accepting and/or soliciting
deposits), insurance services, mortgage and/or consumer lending services
or credit card services is not intended for U.S. Persons.
@swisspinoy, anz’s done everything but wave garlic.
After having some hours to think about it, I came to the conclusion: How much of a loss is this really? The last thing I want to do is buy American mutual funds, ETFs, the US Dollar, etc…
Certainly, this is by no means justification for not renouncing or reliquishing. Just that I’m someone who gets irritated at first that my wife and do these things and I can’t because of where I was born — and didn’t ask to be born there and further, derive no benefit from there.
But nowadays EVEN IF one actually wanted exposure to the US markets, one can get it through other devices. Google is full of articles about this… if this is actually what someone wants. I’m not exposed though because I think that the US financial markets, regulators, politicians, banksters– basically the whole lot — steal trillions from people and get away with it Scot Free.
USP’s abroad should be claiming a huge deduction on their tax returns in the countries they live for discrimination, abridgement of economic oppourtunity.
We can’t just sit by in idle fashion. Our complaints must go on the record. Everybody should write a letter to their government where they live and demand a heinous sum of money in damages for the government applying (or allowing to be applied, or allowing discrimination by financial institutions who exclude USPs to avoid FATCA etc) unconstitutional US extraterritorial laws.
This has to stop.
@Jefferson, demanding money from local institutions in response to US policy would likely do USP’s more harm than good, possibly provoking hostilities with the local population. One would probably achieve more by working with local nationalists to protect locals from foreign influences, such as joining the SVP to oppose duel citizenship and foreign labor, which would force one to either renounce US citizenship or move to the US, solving the FATCA problem once and for all.
I don’t think what ING is doing is sufficient, and it won’t prevent the bank from being dragged through the mud in future years. Simply asking someone, “Are you a US person?”, and taking the reply at face value, is not normally considered adequate due diligence. They should be at least asking for nationality papers, which indicate place of birth.
“I think this is an indication that ING Direct is planning to close the accounts of US persons rather than comply with FATCA.”
Oh yes, they are. Well, maybe not ING, now, but many French banks. My wife, who had the delight to see this world in SF 30 years ago and spent in the US her first six months of life, has been her current bank accounts being closed down abruptly. With the 2000 $ monthly salary of a nurse. Without having ever set foot on the US in 30 years. Like a tax criminal. Youhou, hurray for the IRS.