Banks don’t want American clients anymore

3 min
Published on: 14-07-2015 Last modified on: 12-02-2024
Banks don’t want American clients anymore. Donna-Lane Nelson, 72, still has US citizenship-related problems despite renouncing her US nationality in 2011. She resented the double taxation and cost for accountants to keep her compliant, but that didn’t make her renounce. What did was her bank.

The real need to make a decision came when she saw the banks closing in on Americans, including dual nationals, by closing accounts, refusing loans, and blocking any investments. Her bank in Switzerland spoke to her about the possible closure of accounts.

Despite renouncing in 2011, this month UBS called her in to explain a “red flag” – she was sending $300 a month to a relative in the US. More forms to prove she was no longer American, but she was allowed to keep her account.

She’s still not free.

She’s now married to an American and their French bank is reporting their joint account to the IRS. They are afraid their bank will arbitrarily close their account. Although they can take his name off the account, it gives her power in the marriage she does not want.

American clients

They tried to get an account for her husband in Switzerland at a bank where she was a long-term customer. When asked if it were possible, the teller said, “Maybe, maybe not. For a starter, he needs an official permit granting the right to live in Switzerland and five years of FBAR forms filled in.

The list went on and on for what was needed. “After you do all that we send the information to our headquarters and they will rule if he can have an account.” She added that she wasn’t optimistic that they would allow it.

Nelson does not believe that the renunciation figures issued by the State Department are correct. Her name has never appeared on the “Name and Shame” list published by the State Department. Many others report the same thing.


Nelson is active in anti-FATCA groups and one member reported that they had a friend at the London embassy who said they were doing a minimum of 10 a day. Another said Brussels was doing at least five. She suspects the total could be in the five figures annually (not the 4,000 officially reported for 2014).

FATCA is estimated to have cost the banking world between $5-6 billion. Most people being hurt are middle class, not the wealthy that so many homelanders assume. “We lead ordinary lives, watch our centimes, and still take out our garbage,” she said.

Americans Overseas

Americans Overseas informs local and European parliaments about the effects and issues European citizens face with these recently introduced laws. By continuously putting the topic on the agenda and giving it attention, several changes have been achieved.

We started Americans Overseas to assist people from all over the world by providing accurate information to prevent unnecessary panic and offering free and non-binding assistance. If necessary, we have a network of affordable professionals (accountants) who can help you with your tax obligations.

If you have more questions about the implications of FATCA data transfers for accidental Americans, you can contact us at Americans Overseas.

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