“It’s all about Fairness”, Bank Coop wrote on the 23rd of May, 2007.
With its fair banking campaign, the medium-sized Swiss bank is emphasizing its conscious focus on broader society and offers good services at fair prices
It’s all about Fairness
In May, 2012, Bank Coop had 250 customers who lived in the United States.
Wir haben derzeit rund 250 Kundenbeziehungen zu Kunden, welche in den USA leben.
Generalversammlung Bank Coop, 2. Mai 2012
On July 17, 2012, Bank Coop declared that it was terminating the accounts of 250 US customers.
Die Bank Coop trennt sich derzeit von ihren US-Kunden – rund 250 Kundenbeziehungen werden liquidiert – und will im Bedarfsfall auch die Kündigungsfristen verlängern.
I inquired on Friday, July 27th, 2012, if this ruling also applied to dual Swiss citizens who lived and worked in Switzerland and was informed that they are also denied banking services at Bank Coop if they are considered as being “US Persons”. So, I searched for an official statement from the bank on the net, but could only find one on Equity Yield Notes.
EYNs may not be offered, sold or delivered within the United States of America or to U.S. persons except as permitted by the Prospectus.
Equity Yield Notes
On Securities, it writes that the purchase or sale is not allowed for customers who live in the US, but makes no mention of US persons in Switzerland.
keine Kauf- und Verkaufsaufträge für Wertschriften von Kunden mit Domizil USA entgegengenommen werden, wenn diese aus den USA ausgelöst werden.
This leads me to the conclusion that they either haven’t updated their records, or they can’t since such would not be about “fairness” or it would be in violation of Swiss laws. Swiss law allows banks to deny services to “politisch exponierten Personen“, which are high ranking government officials involved in money laundering. Bank services may also be denied when the source of the customer’s money is questionable and the law prohibits banks from accepting money of criminal origin. Yet, all of this doesn’t apply to Swiss citizens who work and live in Switzerland without being in violation of any laws but are simply identified as being “US persons”. Bank Coop is likely reacting to the Wegelin situation:
Möglicherweise kam Wegelin nur deshalb unter Beschuss, weil die Amerikaner eine aggressive, sagen wir: imperialistische Auslegung der eigenen Steuergesetze vornahmen. Dass die Amerikaner dies taten, ist enttäuschend. Dass die Schweizer Behörden nichts dagegen unternahmen, ist erschütternd.
In the case of Wegelin, the US government applied an imperialistic interpretation of its own tax laws, while the Swiss government failed to take action.
Banque Coop talks very much about women in their article. Women didn’t choose to be born as women. US citizens born the US didn’t choose that either. We need more concrete cases about who the 250 persons were whose accounts were closed. With this information we would be able to expose the hypocrisy of the bank.
I do not yet know of anyone who is a dual national resident in Switzerland that has had their account closed by Coop. At the moment, don’t ask don’t tell would be a good policy. The accoundholder should simply state that they are Swiss, and that might be the end of it, at least for the time being.
I suspect that many of the closures of Swiss resident accounts may be in the case of individuals who were naturalised in Switzerland and did not bother to inform the bank. Also, when opening accounts over the past few years, it is likely that many duals proudly mentionned their dual status. The wiser ones, who may have seen the writing on the wall about US policy may have presented themselves as Swiss citizens and the bank doesn’t know any “better”.
I think it is absurd to expect a puny bank like Coop to go up against the US Treasury, Fed, Justice Department, State Department, IMS, OECD, BIS, Obama, Soros, Buffet, etc, etc.
Lets assume that you manage to legally force Coop into doing business with you, what have you really accomplished? You will merely have punished innocent bystanders by making them help you against their will. Bravo, punish that little bank for the actions of the US welfare state bully.
A far better approach would be to start a Swiss initiative to re-enforce Swiss bank privacy, but you will never get that passed, just look at the list of globalist organizations you would be fighting above. Tax resisters are racist like the Tea Party anyway, so just like Wegelin bank you are getting what you deserve .
@ConfederateH, currently, to my knowledge, two Swiss banks are refusing to refinance the mortgages of Swiss citizens. This could expand to include more banks, meaning that it could eventually have an impact on all US persons in Switzerland. I am unaware of any US or Swiss law which will prevent the mortgages of US persons in Switzerland from not being financed. This means that the only option US persons in Switzerland have at present, is to relinquish US citizenship to protect themselves and their family. This means that I must inquire with the US embassy if it is possible to immediately relinquish/renounce US citizenship, I must inquire with the US Department of Housing if they will refinance the mortgages of US persons in Switzerland and I must inquire with the Swiss government if the relinquish/renouncing of US citizenship is the only option. I’ll keep you posted. Also….
To what extent must Americans sacrifice to protect their citizens abroad?
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/07/when_to_protect_americans_abroad_hint_not_all_the_time.html#ixzz220JH4yvj
@ConfederateH We cannot allow even a “puny” bank as you call it to conduct its business in violation of the Swiss constitution. Neither can we allow the wussy federal counselors we now have to allow the violation of Swiss soveriegnty. We must fight at every juncture because once this FATCA machine gets in motion we might not be able to stop it and the result may be something looking very much like late 30’s Germany.
I don’t know what you mean when you say that tax resisters are racist? We are not tax resisters, we pay taxes in Switzerland. What we refuse is the double taxation and double reporting to the US.
Sovereignty and the concept of dominant nationality are important to us. We also want to be on level economic-oppourtunity terms with our neighbors.
The problem that Coop has is that it belongs to the Basel Cantonal Bank which has dealings in the US. But their are also punier banks in Switzerland that have no such dealings (caisses d’epargne etc.) that will gladly take any Swiss citizen, though their offerings might be limited.
All banks that close accounts of bone fide Swiss residents should be attacked as a matter of principle, no matter what their holdings, no matter if they are puny or strong.
We pay taxes in Switzerland and the Confederation used our direct tax francs to bail out banks. We have the right to services in our own country.
By the way, reminder to everyone, Wegelin was bought by Raiffeisen, not Coop.
Swiss domestic customers of Raiffeisen are also at risk, but I think that the bank will have double trouble trying to get rid of the bone fide residents because the bank has historically encouraged customers to be shareholders, a few hundred francs per person (shares are interest bearing as well). This means that the shareholders have voting rights. Kick out a shareholder because of a connection to the US, even if that shareholder might also be Swiss and resident in Switzerland? That would be a kick in the nuts/boobs to all non profit and cooperative associations in Switzerland.
After reading the link you already posted on a different thread:
US-Steuerdeal rückt in weite Ferne
The following statement made me think a bit.
“……Während die elf Institute, die im Visier der US-Behörde stehen, sich so rasch wie möglich ein Abkommen der Schweiz mit den USA erhoffen, verweigern sich andere. «Jene Institute, die nicht selbst im Visier der US-Justiz stehen, sind nicht bereit, sich mit einer hohen Summe an einem Vergleich mit den USA zu beteiligen», sagt ein Bankchef gegenüber der «SonntagsZeitung». “
I think that the real reason why Raiffeisen and COOP are eliminating their „US person“ clients is not due to FATCA, but more likely because the latest rules concerning FATCA will also hurt non-participating FFI’s that neither invest in the US or have „US persons“ as customers due to the strict pass-through payment rules in FATCA (they will still possibly suffer from the 30% withholding tax). I think they are doing this in order to get prepared for a possible deal that the US and Switzerland might agree upon (when ever that will be) where the Swiss banks will have to pay fine. Since the fine will some how be divided among the Swiss banks, those that can prove, to a certain degree, that they no longer have „US persons“ for customers will argue that they should either not have to participate in paying the fine or at least pay a smaller amount.
Well I sure won’t hold my breath for these little fish to change, I sincerely doubt that you will make any progress legally against these banks. In fact, the Swiss legal profession will simply pocket any fees you pay. I know that many other Cantonal banks have purged their client lists of US persons besides Basel Cantonal Bank (who was one of the 10 that are under investigation by the IRS). Many of these Cantonal Banks may still have outstanding home loans or CD’s from US persons, but as soon as these notes expire these banks will be disassociating themselves completely with them. Swiss political parties like the SP, FDP and the Greens are very strongly pro-Switzerland-in-EU and are therefore squarely against financial privacy. You certainly won’t get anywhere fighting for US-persons rights with them. And the SVP is, in the eyes of the worlds welfare state elites, racist. You certainly wouldn’t want to be associated with them.
“We are not tax resisters, we pay taxes in Switzerland. What we refuse
is the double taxation and double reporting to the US. “
Do you really think you can win an argument with the progressives that the FEIE is equivalent to double taxation? Don’t you see, they own “fairness” and they own “racism”. And clearly by opposing citizenship based taxation you are against tax fairness. And people who resist tax fairness are racist. Like the IBS too. It is quite plain and simple.
Here is a great new Mark Steyn piece about tolerance that describes how progressive “fairness” works.
Fairness is “guaranteeing” all Americans who are held to pay tax no matter where they live the RIGHT to open a bank account in the USA regardless of where they live.
I live overseas and because of FATCA my spouse REFUSES to hold a joint account with me. My spouse is a foreign person with NO ties whatsoever except for their marriage to me.
I am eligible for Social Security and want to apply for it NOW. But, I can’t because I have no bank account.
Yes, I could open a sole account (maybe) in the country where I live but then I expose myself to FATCA and all its nonsense. Why should I do that ? Because YOU want to force me to?
What I want, no DEMAND from Congress, is the RIGHT as a citizen overseas who you want to tax is the RIGHT to open a joint account with my spouse in the USA.
An account that does NOT infringe on my spouses right to privacy in her own country and does not subject THEIR income to DRACONIAN penalties if I forget to file or misfile a form.
Do you GET this Mr Congressperson ? Or, will you STEAL and CONFISCATE the income of foreign nationals under FATCA simply because they dared to marry and American?
I have no income but my spouse has a large income and there is no reason for my spouse to open the door to the gestapo IRS simply so I can claim my social security.
If Congress is going to make life even more difficult for expats to survive overseas the least they can do for us is to enable a RIGHT to a US bank account so we can claim some of the FEW benefits you allow us to claim while forever increasing punishment of us on the tax side of the equation.
Or, perhaps, denying us our SS benefits is part of CONGRESS plan or of no concern since you want the money even if you have to steal it ?
I am ANGRY as HELL and will vote for NO incumbent this November.
YOU can ALL go to HELL because of FATCA.
@Dave, thanks for the comment. You express what many of us feel about the United States. But not just FATCA (FindAnotherCounTryforyourAssets), but FuBAR, for exit taxes (8854), extraterritorial taxation, a–hole border guards (who claim you are US just because you born there without any further proof), Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George Dubya Bush (for signing 2008 HEART act), Timothy Geithner, Chuck Despicable Schumer, Senator Reed (of the Reed Amendment), Bill Clinton (for signing the Reed Amendment), Douglas Shulman and the whole IRS, and last but not least, US inheritance taxes.
But don’t worry, your Social Security won’t be worth warm piss when the dollar finally sinks down to its intrinsic value. What I do with my foreign spouse who makes more than I do is that I cherish her, I cook for her, and I renounced my US citizenship for her, upon becoming a Canadian citizen.
Nevertheless, I’d like perhaps one day to visit family. The rest I count as loss.
In fairness, this is a good move by the Swiss. The US is one of the largest tax havens in the world and is using FATCA as a tactic to grab that market for themselves. The Swiss need to put some pain directly onto America’s weak spots and the antiquated Citizenship based taxation is one of America’s Achilles tendons. I will suffer as a result of this, but I cannot see it as an unfair move by the Swiss.
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