Well, it really IS beginning. Three weeks from tomorrow, FATCA begins. Apparently our compatriots in Mexico are about to be hit in a very big way.
None has been so far reaching as this notice sent to US citizens who have accounts at Banamex USA in Mexico this week, however.
Banamex USA’s parent, Banamex, is the second largest bank in Mexico and there are over 1 million US citizens living in Mexico, by far the largest amount of any country, and so this news will be felt over a very widespread area.
Notices have begun to be sent by Banamex USA, a bank operating in Mexico and used by many American expats in Mexico, to all US citizens notifying them that their accounts will be closed within 30 days.
Here, here and here you will find three separate online discussions surrounding Banamex USA’s summary closure of American’s accounts.
In most of the forums people know the reason why – FATCA – but in one of the forums in particular the people are not even aware of FATCA and its implications. This action by Banamex USA is, of course, because of FATCA, which has forced 77,000 banks in 70 countries to surrender all information on American customers to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or be extorted and possibly put out of business altogether.
Banamex USA, a subsidary of Citibank with its headquarters in Los Angeles, has sent letters to many US customers informing them that their accounts will be closed June 30. As one online commenter wrote:
“No more SS check deposits: no more linking of accounts to Banamex Mexico, no more credit card, no more ATM for free, no more nada.”
One customer was told that it was a “bank decision” with no reason given why. This move has left former account holders scrambling to find a bank that will let them open an account without their presence in Mexico, something likely impossible to find.
It does not appear that all accounts will be closed, but nobody knows Banamex USA’s strategy here, even banking insiders in the US who we have contacted who are confused about what is going on.
What’s for sure is this: Are you an American expatriate living abroad or an American currently thinking of moving abroad? This could and likely will happen to you.