The U.S. government wants to end the secret Swiss bank account, and Americans far from Switzerland are being affected. Zurich-based UBS agreed to share data with the U.S. in 2009, and Congress tightened the rules in 2010 by passing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
That law, and regulations aimed at stemming terrorism financing and money laundering, make it tougher for Americans to have bank accounts abroad, says Marylouise Serrato, executive director of American Citizens Abroad. The reporting and regulatory burdens on banks have them refusing to do business with Americans abroad, she says. Complaints have been growing about bank and investment accounts being closed on Americans without U.S. addresses, and foreign banks refusing American customers and even calling in mortgages.
Photograph by Adrian Moser/Bloomberg