A representative of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) explains succinctly in a November 19 CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) interview how Canada’s banks will respond to US “extraterritorial” demands for FATCA implementation.
On November 25 the CBC/CBC reporter who interviewed the CBA correctly selected the term “deputized by the IRS” to describe the nature of the relationship between these financial institutions and the IRS in a new print version of part of the radio broadcast:
PLEASE LISTEN TO THE RADIO INTERVIEW ON THIS LINK AND FORWARD THIS CBC LINK (but with some text correcting the banker’s statement) TO THOSE WHO MIGHT BENEFIT:
The interview also includes a Brocker/Sandboxer and Allison Christians, Chair of Tax Law at Montreal’s McGill University.
Below is just one brief response to the interview also posted on MapleSandbox:
[SENT BY MAIL; POSTED ONLINE AT ISAACBROCKSOCIETY.CA
November 21, 2013
Mr. Marion Wrobel
Vice-President, Policy and Operations
Canadian Bankers Association
199 Bay Street, 30th Floor
Dear Mr. Wrobel,
[Re: Your November 19 2013 CBC broadcast statements on
Canadian banks and FATCA]
I am asking you, as a representative of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA), to provide more balance in future statements you will make to the public on involvement of Canadian banks in implementing the U.S. imposed FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) law.
In your November 19 statements broadcasted on CBC the audience was left with the impression that Canada’s banks have no choice but to capitulate to U.S. demands to implement FATCA– because the U.S. has a “large economy” and “financial markets are integrated.”
I appreciate that only limited broadcast time was available, and know that you would not mislead; however, Canadians need to know, directly from the CBA, that Canadian banks do in fact have the option of resisting FATCA in order to protect rights of all of us and the sovereignty of our country.
This option is detailed in the November 12 2013 letter hand delivered to the office of Mr. Terry Campbell, the President of your CBA, and which was posted online at IsaacBrockSociety.ca and MapleSandbox.ca.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to read the letter, please do so and consider the specific options of FATCA non-compliance on pages 9 and 10.
In particular, I ask that you now in your public statements alert Canadians to a viable alternative to capitulation: To use the resources of CBA to begin (belatedly) a “serious lobbying and media campaign to secure FATCA’s repeal.”
I thank the CBA for commenting at the Isaac Brock website on our concerns and hope that you will continue to contribute to this discussion.
[Name and address disclosed on hard copy]
cc: Terry Campbell, President, Canadian Bankers Association
Maura Drew-Lytle, Director, Media Relations, Canadian Bankers Association
Honourable James Flaherty, Minister of Finance
Kevin Shoom, Senior Chief, International Taxation and Special Projects
Honourable Ted Hsu, Member Parliament, Kingston and the Islands
Honourable Scott Brison, Member Parliament, Kings-Hants
November 12 2013 Letter to Canadian Bankers Association:
Suggest also send a copy to NDP Revenue Critic Murray Rankin, MP. And copy him and NDP Finance Critic Peggy Nash on any FATCA issue.
Rankin represents Victoria BC
Rankin wrote a strongly worded FATCA query letter to Flaherty in Sept.
Worth noting: “With law degrees from the University of Toronto and Harvard, Murray was a managing partner in the Victoria law firm Arvay Finlay (Joe Arvay’s firm) for over a decade.”
Also NDP Finance Critic Peggy Nash, MP for High Park, Ontario. She has expressed awareness and concern regarding FATCA as well
The banks should have taken the approach of recommending that its clients remove their financial investments from the US and to spin off their own US assets. This would be the strongest message to the United States that their approach is wrong headed. The problem is that they have not approach this problem with adequate foresight.
One of the main risks in investing is geo-political. If a nation in which you have investments decides to confiscate a part or a whole of your assets, the only thing that you can do to stop them from doing that is to go to war against that nation. But if they give you the date that they plan to confiscate those assets, you can divest yourself of them beforehand. This is what banks should have been doing once FATCA was passed in 2010. But I guess they decided that the US wasn’t serious about their threats or they thought that they could get away with throwing its so-called US persons under the bus, hoping especially that the government would help them to do it through signing an IGA.
I agree with Petros, the US gave everyone a kindly heads up, which has been mostly ignored.
Actually, I should have said that the US’s heads up they gave the banks has been mostly “squandered” not “ignored”. Thank you for the letter, IRSCompliantForever.
Thanks for writing him, IRSCompliantForever,
The CBC “World at 6” broadcast is here
The FATCA segment runs from about 14:47 to 17:37. It includes Gwen and Allison Christians as well as Mr. Wrobel.
UPDATE:12:28 I just found out they change the podcast every day. This show is no longer available at that link.
UPDATE: 22 November. It’s available online again.
Excellent Letter! Thank you for your tireless efforts!
I add my delayed thanks for this follow-up letter as well — and for all you have been doing in this FATCA fight in Canada. Excellent work.
The Canadian Bankers Association just confirmed to me that the letter has been forwarded to Mr. Wrobel and Mr. Campbell. Both have been invited to respond on this posting.
Mr. Wrobel and Mr. Campbell might also wish to consider and respond to @Badger’s comments:
“There is a moral and ethical dimension to this which exists whether FIs or observers acknowledge it or not. Obdurate avoidance of that dimension of this issue will not make it disappear.” and
“Even organizations who see their raison d’etre as a pure pursuit of maximum profit do not exist in another universe entirely devoid of moral and ethical considerations.”
The CBC World at 6 broadcast that IRSCompliantForever refers to in the letter is available online again.
It includes Gwen and Allison Christians (Chair, Tax Law, Faculty of Law, McGill University) as well as Marion Wrobel (VP Policy, CBA).
Thanks to Bubblebustin’ for finding the link.
@Wondering, thanks for the good suggestion.
Hard copies of the letter have been sent to Mr. Rankin and Ms. Nash.
Read a slightly expanded version which just appeared of the same CBC interview with commentary by the reporter:
The reporter/CBC selected the phrase “deputized by the IRS” and the article ends with:
“Perhaps to add insult to injury, the individual Canadian financial institutions being deputized by the IRS to sniff out wayward U.S. taxpayers need to cover the cost of the added scrutiny, monitoring, and reporting themselves.
The CBA estimates it will likely cost the big banks $100 million each to comply with FATCA.”
ex-Ambassador(US) to Canada; David Jacobson is now; “……Vice Chairman of the Board of Bank of Montreal effective October 2013. Prior to his swearing in as Ambassador, he served as Special Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel. Before serving in the White House, he spent 30 years as a lawyer in Chicago, gaining experience in complex commercial, class action, securities, insurance and business litigation. He received a J.D. from Georgetown University where he was the Administrative Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. He received his B.S. from The Johns Hopkins University.
If BMO named Jacobson a RO (Responsible Officer) for FATCA reporting, we’d have come full circle. And if he worked out of a Canadian office rather than Chicago, he could have the delight of filing his first FBAR – and his own first FATCA form 8938.
If Jacobson became a FATCA Responsbile Officer, he could then at first hand ensure and certify that ‘Canadian Grandmas’ and other lawabiding Canadian accountholders (he so disingenuously promised were under no threat from the US Treasury and IRS), are thoroughly rooted out and interrogated by the BMO Compliance apparatus in Canada, on behalf of the US Treasury and IRS.