The PURPOSE of this post is to thank the courageous Dutch citizen (below), the Jennys, the Gwens and Kazias, the Fabiens, the Marc Zells (and their Plaintiffs), and all others who decided to take their complaints and their names to an actual Court of Law to stop imposition of these bad U.S. laws on their own countries.
[This news came from Fabien Lehagre and the AEFNJ.]
A Dutch citizen, who left U.S. as an infant, went to Court to contest his bank’s requirement that he needed to obtain a U.S. Tax Identification Number (TIN) for his accounts.
The Central Netherlands District Court ruled in an Interim Injunction on December 23, 2020 that the Volksbank may close one of his accounts and that the Dutch citizen would have to pay part of “costs”.
— There will be different reactions to this litigation, but there will be some who feel the need for many more citizens of Netherlands and other countries to lodge these complaints against their own governments.
From the Court Ruling (see link), here are some of the Dutch citizen’s complaints (using Google Translate to English)[Do you agree with his arguments?]:
[Claimant] puts forward four arguments on this point, which – in short – read as follows:
— It is not Volksbank’s task to enforce compliance with foreign law. There is no Dutch legal basis for this and there is also no Dutch legal obligation to request a TIN.
— Possible obligations of Volksbank under US law must give way to the right of [claimant] to a (basic) bank account. Volksbank must respect the fundamental rights of [claimant] (arising from, among other things, the GDPR and the ECHR).
— Volksbank may not put the problem of extraterritorial US regulations on the hands of [claimant] by terminating the relationship. Instead, the banks, in collaboration with the Dutch and European governments, must make an effort to improve the position of the Accidental Americans.
— For the time being there is no question of American sanctions against financial institutions such as Volksbank and by allowing the claims of [plaintiff] in these interim relief proceedings, Volksbank can demonstrate that it has fulfilled its best efforts obligation to obtain a TIN from [plaintiff]. Such an obligation of best efforts complied with averts the risk of US sanctions.
The preliminary relief judge is of the opinion that these arguments of [claimant] are unsuccessful and explains this below.]
— This termination is contrary to legal and contractual obligations (including the General Banking Conditions) and also unlawful.
— Volksbank may not assume that [plaintiff] is guilty of forgery and tax evasion and may not terminate the banking relationship on that ground. By terminating on these grounds anyway, Volksbank provides [plaintiff] with a bad history, which prevents him from entering into a new banking relationship with another bank.
— The termination of the bank relationship must be assessed on the basis of neutral grounds for termination on the basis of the usual assessment framework. In that context, a weighing of interests must take place and this works out in favor of [claimant], because the consequences of termination for [claimant] are too great. It is essential for him to have access to the banking system and to keep his retirement products.”