Yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, UBS began the first step of complying with FATCA. How completely unhospitable, all things considered.
Americans, green card holders and non-US spouses of USCs received W9s, as well as a form which indicates they agree they will not receive protection under Swiss data laws for the information “requested or required by the IRS.” The explanation given was that FATCA begins January 2013. I wonder if they simply decided to go ahead in spite of the extension to 2014 or if it is a gigantic case of CYA in advance. The extra form suggests that this practice would normally violate privacy laws, but I don’t know if that is true or not.
Interestingly, the article states UBS previously asked USCs to tick a box, indicating their citizenship. Do any of our Swiss posters know when this began? I am curious if was a regular practice or something that appeared after the 2009 debacle.
The clients have until March 31, 2013 to comply. If they do not, ” “UBS will be obliged to end its business relationship with you.”
“The letters and forms are to be returned to UBS wealth management offices in different parts of the country, the bank unit handling the paperwork. This detail could have implications later for those who do sign the forms.
Bank employees advising clients who receive the letters have said that while, for now, UBS has opted not to refuse American clients, at some point in the future these clients may have to foot the bill for the higher cost of handling them.” It is interesting that individual USCs may be required to shoulder the costs as opposed to the bank spreading them out to all clients. I wonder if this will become a practice across the globe. If so, it will put a dent in the idea that other nationals will be outraged by being charged and demand that FATCA or the IGA be refused/rescinded, etc.
I am not familiar with Swiss law and don’t quite understand why signing a document which is open-ended (timewise) may cause legal problems. Again, would welcome comments from our Swiss Brockers that would educate us as to what type of privacy laws there are in Switzerland as well as any other info that would shed some light on implications for the future.
“With this Authorization, the Client herby expressly waives any protection or right under Swiss bank-client confidentiality and data protection laws to the extent necessary for the reporting of any Data hereunder. Further, the Client accepts and acknowledges that any Data that the bank discloses hereunder to the IRS will be subject to the laws of the US and will not be covered by Swiss law.”