My Financial Career- A FATCA Chronicle

Many Canadians are familiar with the 1962 animation of Stephen Leacock’s early 20th century humorous tale of a young man’s attempt to open his first bank account. It’s worth a view, even if you’ve seen it many times before. Here’s the link:
Now, instead of a young man rattled by a bank, think of a U.S. person having to deal with a financial institution under a Canada-U.S. FATCA IGA.
Although an IGA has yet to be announced, some FIs are already collecting information.
Similar to the Border Crossings thread, perhaps we can relate our own experiences, either in person or through online account opening. Any other information on account opening, from any source, would also be useful. It would be helpful to distinguish between banking, investment and other types of accounts.
If you have already posted your ‘story’ elsewhere, please post it again here.
And, input from our friends in other countries is most welcome.

5 thoughts on “My Financial Career- A FATCA Chronicle

  1. Bank of Nova Scotia (bank account)
    The last account I opened was at a ScotiaBank branch about a year ago. Having been immersed in FATCA for about a year, I had some apprehension before walking into the branch. However, the apprehension was not needed.
    Even though I spoke to several employees about the accounts I was setting up, there no mention whatsoever related to FATCA. Just the normal account opening details and documentation was required.
    After leaving the branch, I was thinking that nobody there knew anything about FATCA. The situation may be different now.

  2. Good idea Hazy. I personally have not tried to open any accounts since learning about FATCA, but it will be useful to know what people’s experiences are.
    There do seem to have been some questions asked by banks and financial advisers on investment accounts which have US source income, but I am not aware anyone in Canada has had a problem opening or maintaining a bank account in Canada due to US place of birth (which banks are not legally enititled to ask).
    I look forward to hearing about experiences of anyone who has tried to open an account or who has had (or not had) problems relating to an existing account.
    I am aware of Tortured’s problems, but I believe that related to US source income. I also know of one or two others who may have had questions asked relating to a similar situation.

  3. A relative of mine opened a substantial RSP account at Scotia McLeod about a year ago. It was a transfer from another FFI. Scotia’s rep. knew she was born in the south.
    He didn’t ask citizenship. I.D. was a driver’s licence. All the forms say ‘canadian’ . End of story.

  4. RBC Direct Investing (discount brokerage)
    The application form very prominently displays a question about U.S. citizenship at beginning of form.
    A friend was going to open an account there, but stopped right away when seeing mention of U.S. citizenship. This person is now going to apply for (and should receive) a CLN based on relinquishment.

  5. Scotiabank most certainly knows and has a notice up on their website about FATCA. The woman who has dealt with our mortgage and all other accounts with them knows about it and is a stickler for reporting. So, we’ve got to leave because she surely knows I am a “U.S. person.” The bank made a lot of mistakes over the years. For one making ME the primary account holder even though my spouse makes all of our income. Secondly, listing a volunteer position I held once as a “job” Before FATCA even I asked them twice to correct this and both times was told “Oh, it doesn’t matter.” I said “Yes it does, take that information and correct it.” I don’t know if they ever did.
    So now if our account is reported, I’m the primary and spouse is secondary even if it’s only his income in there and secondly one volunteer position I held may have been listed as my “job.” Also, when I asked if I could take my name off of those accounts I was told “No, you can’t do that, you are the primary.” Their mistake has left us stuck since my intention was to remove my name, renounce then add myself back to the accounts. I may need to ask for someone else to act as our account manager. I’m not trusting Scotiabank very much right now. We only have abt. sixty thousand left on our mortgage but, it’s up for renewal in two years. …not sure about what they will do here lately. Really irritated with them and with the way we are being treated since I mentioned that I wanted my name off of there, and pointed out their mistake numerous times and they did not fix it at all.
    Be wary of them and look for local credit union. That will cost us going to the credit union as they only use high rate Master card at ours. Currently we have a four percent Visa with Scotiabank…really low line of C. also four percent. We’d lose all those advantages but, it’s not worth having accounts reported on to the U.S.
    This whole thing still astounds me for people whose income is so low in comparison to the “over seas tax cheats” they say this is all about. Really quite bizarre and there’s no way to stay up or fully understand all of this wrangling, rules and changes. Then they wonder why people are renouncing?? God! Just to be free of the time spent dealing with this is worth it. There fault for making it so.

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