On October 13, 2014 Robert Wood published a fascinating post title: “100 Swiss Banks Get Ultimatum: Hand Over Americans Or Face U.S. Prosecution“. Mr. Wood is writing about the Swiss Banks who foolishly entered the “OVDP For Swiss Banks Program” that the Department of Justice announced in August of 2013. I have followed this topic with great interest: arguing that Swiss Banks should NOT have joined OVDP for Swiss Banks and that Americans in Switzerland should NOT join OVDP and take part in the FBAR Fundraiser.
Mr. Wood’s post demonstrates the pitfalls of entering into disclosure agreements with the U.S. Government. In this case (among other things) the U.S. is demanding that “Americans be handed over”. The reality is (as one commenter notes) that what the U.S. Government calls “Americans” the Swiss Government likely calls “Citizens of Switzerland”. Therefore, the U.S. is using the “OVDP for Swiss Banks Program” as a vehicle to force Switzerland to turn their own citizens over to the United States. Interesting. That said, every country that enters into a FATCA IGA (which is really an OVDP program for countries) has agreed to turn its own citizens over to the United States. For example, the “Alliance For The Defence of Canadian Sovereignty“, in it’s video of the FATCA proceedings in the Canadian House of Commons, describes July 1, 2014 as the day that “Canada begins to turn its citizens over to the United States”.
Robert Wood describes the demand to the Swiss Banks in the following way: