any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

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asset_chaos
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any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by asset_chaos »

Due to Vanguard closing the advantage cash management account (discussed at length in this thread), I need a new account to pay the odd bill in the US. I live abroad, and Investopedia suggests these checking accounts for U.S. expats living abroad. Does anyone have experience they can share with any of these institutions, e.g. are they really set up to accept expat accounts (I have the US address of a relative I can use if need be).

Capital One 360 interest-bearing checking solution.

Schwab Bank (tried this 8 or 9 years ago and they wouldn't proceed w/ application w/o state id; my last US driver's license expired some time ago.)

Citibank (there is a citibank branch where I live)

HSBC (I won't keep $100k in the account to qualify for HSBC Premier checking, but there is an HSBC branch where I live)

Alliant Credit Union (can qualify with a donation to designated charity)

First Republic Bank

Ally Bank (had an account here, closed after bad service experience and moved to VanguardAdvantage)

Fidelity Investments

Navy Federal Credit Union (can qualify, I think, because dad was a veteran)

State Department Federal Credit Union (can qualify with a donation to designated charity; joining page is fully set up to input a foreign address, use a passport as the id, and touts for diplomatic staff on overseas assignment.)

I have a preference for credit unions, so will start my research with the credit unions, but thanks for any input about any of these or any other suggestions for accounts I should look at.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for ex-pat living abroad [US ex-pat]

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Non-US Investing forum (bank). This forum addresses ex-pat issues. It might have a better chance for a reply.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by whodidntante »

I would not suggest Fidelity as an only account if you're living outside the USA. They've locked my accounts twice due to tripping whatever foreigner panic button they have. Or you could use Fidelity, but make sure you use a VPN every time.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by ivk5 »

I have used Citibank, Cap One 360, Ally without issue. I always use relative’s US mailing address for financial institutions. No need to use VPN except when opening new accts (eg Ally CDs).
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Skiandswim »

I had successfully used Capital One 360 for all my US bills, while living outside US. Works fine. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has complicated opening US investment and banking accounts for US expats (one of many articles https://vagabondfinances.com/no-expats-allowed/ ). Y

Additional comments. Capital One Credit Card provides 1.5% cash back and no foreign fees. The foreign exchange rate (purchases in local currency) are very competitive. I use this on occasion for foreign expenses as a way to "move" funds from USA to overseas if needed. Charles Schwab Debit Card is great for cash withdrawals overseas; ATM fees reimbursed, competitive exchange rate and better than Capital One Debit Card.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by peterinjapan »

Make sure you have a "base" in the U.S. I keep my company pretty much for this purpose, so I can have all the rights to invest in the U.S. as an American, although I live in Japan. Honestly, someone needs to sue the government to give us the right to open any account we please, even if we're living abroad. If we're asked to pay U.S. taxes no matter where we live, we should be entitled to all the rights of a U.S. citizen.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by AlohaJoe »

Skiandswim wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:28 am Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has complicated opening US investment and banking accounts for US expats (one of many articles https://vagabondfinances.com/no-expats-allowed/ ).
The article didn't actually offer a shred of evidence of that claim. All it says is

"Similarly, many overseas banks began rejecting new American clients"

Maybe someone somewhere had problems. I dunno. I've never heard an actual concrete claim that Bank X in Country Y has begun refusing all American citizens, though.

I've opened multiple bank accounts in four different countries since FATCA came around and never had a problem.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by gtd98765 »

I have been banking with State Department FCU for years, including many abroad. They do a pretty good job, and are used to dealing with people over the phone/via the Internet, and outside US working hours. The interest rates they pay on deposit accounts are not super competitive, however.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by TedSwippet »

AlohaJoe wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:09 amMaybe someone somewhere had problems. I dunno. I've never heard an actual concrete claim that Bank X in Country Y has begun refusing all American citizens, though.
It's real enough, albeit perhaps somewhat less prevalent for normal retail banking accounts than for things like investment accounts, retirement accounts, and mortgages. According to this survey from Democrats Abroad, page 4 and onwards, one in six Americans abroad have had an account closed or refused by a non-US bank as a result of FATCA.
Last edited by TedSwippet on Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by ivk5 »

Skiandswim wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:28 am Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has complicated opening US investment and banking accounts for US expats (one of many articles https://vagabondfinances.com/no-expats-allowed/ ).
TedSwippet wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:06 am
AlohaJoe wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:09 amMaybe someone somewhere had problems. I dunno. I've never heard an actual concrete claim that Bank X in Country Y has begun refusing all American citizens, though.
It's real enough, albeit perhaps somewhat less prevalent for normal retail banking accounts than for things like investment accounts, retirement accounts, and mortgages. According to this survey from Democrats Abroad, page 4 and onwards, one in six Americans abroad have had an account closed or refused by a non-US bank as a result of FATCA.
The quote AlohaJoe was responding to was regarding US accounts, not non-US accounts.

We should all be able to agree that US persons have no end of problems opening non-US accounts thanks to FATCA/etc...
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by TedSwippet »

ivk5 wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:09 am The quote AlohaJoe was responding to was regarding US accounts, not non-US accounts.

We should all be able to agree that US persons have no end of problems opening non-US accounts thanks to FATCA/etc...
Fair point, although the part of AlohaJoe's post that I quoted is far more general and refers to banks in any country refusing accounts to US citizens. Anyway ...

I have to admit though, that I do have a sort-of feeling that some set of new -- or newly enforced -- US regulations has complicated things for US banks, to the point where they would prefer to avoid non-US residents. Whether this is FATCA or something else isn't clear, though.

I've recently encountered difficulties with both Vanguard and my US credit union. In both cases they cited my 'foreign address' as the reason why I couldn't do what would be trivial and entirely routine for a US resident. Some make little sense at all; for example, I cannot use Vanguard's voice verification system because I am not in the US. How these are connected I have no idea. Although I'm a US non-resident alien, that didn't seem to come into things. It was simply my non-US address that triggered whatever 'foreign account' panic buttons they have.

Shrug. FATCA did introduce new and tighter 1042-S reporting requirements for US banks, but that would only affect accounts held by NRAs like me, and shouldn't change things for US citizens. Even so, some US financial institutions have been reported to insist on withholding 30% in tax on any payments made abroad, whether or not to US citizens and even though that 30% should a) only apply to NRAs, and then b) only if there is no lower treaty rate. So I'd say FATCA has probably changed the way US banks and similar look at payments made to non-US addresses.

Hard to say if it's resulted in any actual account closure or denial, though. And to the extent that it has, I imagine the offending banks might generally keep fairly quiet about it, for fear of opening themselves up to possible lawsuits.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Storamin »

asset_chaos wrote: Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:56 pm Schwab Bank (tried this 8 or 9 years ago and they wouldn't proceed w/ application w/o state id; my last US driver's license expired some time ago.)
You can apply now for the Schwab international brokerage & checking account. Minimum is $25k or so. I'm pretty happy with them.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Vogatrice »

Look into USAA Federal Savings Bank. It's for veterans and their descendants - not sure how far down the chain, but if your dad was a Vet, you are eligible. I've had an account for a long time, pre-FATCA. They are great to deal with, and are used to having overseas customers. I don't know if they have changed their stance since FATCA but they have been happy to have my business for years. I've been expat for 30 years and use this account to pay any U.S. bills and to exchange funds with my U.S. based family members (all of whom have USAA accounts) when we vacation together. Also I have a debit card from them which has nice low foreign transaction and ATM fees. I use it when traveling outside North America to get cash from foreign ATMs.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by ivk5 »

Vogatrice wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:31 pm Also I have a debit card from them which has nice low foreign transaction and ATM fees.
It’s unnecessary to pay ANY foreign transaction fees or foreign ATM fees as a US expat, unless you like donating to financial institutions.

Many threads here on free options.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Kitty Telltales »

I've been using CapitalOne 360 since living abroad (Ing Direct when I opened the account). I've also maintained an account at Bank of America for several reasons. When in the States, sometimes it's necessary to use a physical bank e.g. cashing Savings bonds. Their numerous US locations have been a live saver at times. I actually enjoy the ritual of standing in line with all the other stressed out American folks on each visit. It's a part of my back in America experience each trip.

The biggest issue has been when I've needed to deposit the occasional paper check while abroad. Bank of America's mobile app worked better than CapitalOne 360's app which seemed to always recognize I was abroad and didn't work. I once had to mail off a check for a larger amount, above what either app would accept, to be deposited in CapitalOne 360 and it was an uneasy feeling. It has to be endorsed before mailing.

I use CapitalOne when I'm looking for a decent interest rate. Bank of America checking requires a minimum balance to be free but transfers between the 2 banks are quick.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by ivk5 »

Duplicate
typical.investor
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by typical.investor »

ivk5 wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:09 am
Skiandswim wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:28 am Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has complicated opening US investment and banking accounts for US expats (one of many articles https://vagabondfinances.com/no-expats-allowed/ ).
TedSwippet wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:06 am
AlohaJoe wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:09 amMaybe someone somewhere had problems. I dunno. I've never heard an actual concrete claim that Bank X in Country Y has begun refusing all American citizens, though.
It's real enough, albeit perhaps somewhat less prevalent for normal retail banking accounts than for things like investment accounts, retirement accounts, and mortgages. According to this survey from Democrats Abroad, page 4 and onwards, one in six Americans abroad have had an account closed or refused by a non-US bank as a result of FATCA.
The quote AlohaJoe was responding to was regarding US accounts, not non-US accounts.

We should all be able to agree that US persons have no end of problems opening non-US accounts thanks to FATCA/etc...
I've had my accounts frozen at US financial institutions just as the author of the linked article did.

I am currently running a small business out of my personal account because the best business accounts for sole proprietors in my country of residence are rejected for anyone who is a tax resident elsewhere, and they cite being subject to FACTA as indicating you are a tax resident elsewhere. I could structure it as a corporation but US taxation on 100% US owned foreign corporations is too much for me to do. I could open a more expensive account that accepts Americans, but higher transactions fees worry me.

I got rejected yesterday by the State Department FCU listed in this thread. Submitted by valid US drivers license and set up transfer from Wells Fargo, but was told they couldn't verify me as being credible (by KYC regulations) even though credit rating is really good.

Grow the business right. Yeah, I know the answer isn't complaining.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by portmanteau »

I've been using Ally Bank since I moved abroad years ago. Things were great for a while but they no longer do international wire transfers and they give me grief every time I try to open a CD. Looking at the OP's list, the only one that looks feasible for me is Fidelity's cash management account. I perused their website for information about international wires and it looks like they require a Medallion Signature Guarantee. I am unable to get that where I live. Vanguard allows me to use a notary from the US consulate instead. I don't know if Fidelity will allow this. Does anyone know?

Another alternative I've been considering is American Express Bank, only because I assume they have more experience dealing with international customers. I haven't found any info on their site about international wires, though.

Before I moved I was using ING, which told me they wouldn't allow me to maintain an account if I moved from the US. That's why I switched to Ally. Not longer after I moved ING was acquired by Capital One.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by mitchel »

ivk5 wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:31 amI have used Citibank
asset_chaos wrote: Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:56 pmCitibank
Maple wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:59 pmHSBC is a global bank with a strong US presence. I use them for a US checking account as non-US resident
Citibank USA also seeks international clients.
random_walker_77 wrote: Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:44 pmusing overseas branches, HSBC, and Citibank
Did anyone have an experience of maintaining the account in the US Citibank checking+savings account (not Citigold type) being an NRA and leaving abroad:
- do they mind/care if the account holder for a substantial period of time (years probably) logs in only from international ip-addresses? as well as other actions which obviously indicate that he permanently resides out of USA, such as making the purchases/withdrawals in foreign ATM only
- if the account holder deliberately re-certifies his tax status from W-9 to W-8, do the functions of the online banking remain same, particularly international wire transfers?
Does HSBC take the above-mentioned circumstances easier than Citi? Both of them accept VOIP numbers. Citi delivers One-time Passcode to the international phone numbers (even though the customer support each time insists they do not, but nevertheless I receive it). HSBC verifies the identity in any branch worldwide, about Citi i am not aware
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by JoMoney »

I managed to use a Fidelity CMA and Capital One 360 accounts while living outside the U.S.
I had the advantage of having a US address and phone number associated to the accounts though.
The only issue I had was with depositing checks, I had a coworker write me a U.S. check in exchange for some local currency and I found I wasn't able to use Capital One's online check deposit outside the U.S. ... so I had to mail the check in, which was slow, but worked.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Maple »

mitchel wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 10:31 am
Did anyone have an experience of maintaining the account in the US Citibank checking+savings account (not Citigold type) being an NRA and leaving abroad:
- do they mind/care if the account holder for a substantial period of time (years probably) logs in only from international ip-addresses? as well as other actions which obviously indicate that he permanently resides out of USA, such as making the purchases/withdrawals in foreign ATM only
- if the account holder deliberately re-certifies his tax status from W-9 to W-8, do the functions of the online banking remain same, particularly international wire transfers?
Does HSBC take the above-mentioned circumstances easier than Citi? Both of them accept VOIP numbers. Citi delivers One-time Passcode to the international phone numbers (even though the customer support each time insists they do not, but nevertheless I receive it). HSBC verifies the identity in any branch worldwide, about Citi i am not aware
Both HSBC and Citibank checking/ATM/credit cards have worked ok for me for years living outside the USA. No problems with foreign log-ins or ATM usage (other than foreign ATM fees), and I seldom send wires. I filed W-8BENs with a non-USA residence address. HSBC is overall slightly better for international service and convenience, IME.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by mitchel »

Maple wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 6:26 pmHSBC is overall slightly better for international service and convenience
did you have Premier or Advance?
JoMoney wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 10:37 amto use a Fidelity accounts while living outside the U.S.
their customer support said, they do not provide service for non-residents and they will close an account as soon as they determine that the account holder falls under that category. it is not very encouraging...
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Marseille07 »

How much time abroad is considered an expat? If I get an opportunity to work abroad for a couple of years, sell my property in the US and go abroad; do they start closing my accounts solely on the basis of not having a US address, even though I will be back after 2 years?

It doesn't make much sense to have a vacant home, keeping something rented is also silly. Landlording is an option but that's also a hassle from abroad.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by galving »

asset_chaos wrote: Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:56 pm Due to Vanguard closing the advantage cash management account (discussed at length in this thread), I need a new account to pay the odd bill in the US. I live abroad, and Investopedia suggests these checking accounts for U.S. expats living abroad. Does anyone have experience they can share with any of these institutions, e.g. are they really set up to accept expat accounts (I have the US address of a relative I can use if need be).

Capital One 360 interest-bearing checking solution.

Schwab Bank (tried this 8 or 9 years ago and they wouldn't proceed w/ application w/o state id; my last US driver's license expired some time ago.)

Citibank (there is a citibank branch where I live)

HSBC (I won't keep $100k in the account to qualify for HSBC Premier checking, but there is an HSBC branch where I live)

Alliant Credit Union (can qualify with a donation to designated charity)

First Republic Bank

Ally Bank (had an account here, closed after bad service experience and moved to VanguardAdvantage)

Fidelity Investments

Navy Federal Credit Union (can qualify, I think, because dad was a veteran)

State Department Federal Credit Union (can qualify with a donation to designated charity; joining page is fully set up to input a foreign address, use a passport as the id, and touts for diplomatic staff on overseas assignment.)

I have a preference for credit unions, so will start my research with the credit unions, but thanks for any input about any of these or any other suggestions for accounts I should look at.
Through 3 years in Europe, we used Chase.
We had a little bit of a natural hedge. . . one of us was paid in EUR while the other was paid in USD.
It worked out and we only transferred money when we were 'winning'.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by mitchel »

Marseille07 wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 6:39 pmHow much time abroad is considered an expat?
it depends on the case. For example, Schwab (Bank! not brokerage) explained to me the following: if i am travelling with the intention to return before losing the status of US tax resident, the checking account is free to use. Like, even for a year or so, just need to maintain US address on file. But if i intend to move permanently then i must inform within 1 month to convert the account to the international type
But in general once the person changes his tax status to NRA then becomes an expat. There is a veeery specific cases when the NRA is a physical resident of US, but in most of them it is virtually impossible to certify such person as a W8 (however, some institutions after a months of ping-pong finally agree)
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Marseille07 »

mitchel wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 6:47 pm
Marseille07 wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 6:39 pmHow much time abroad is considered an expat?
it depends on the case. For example, Schwab (Bank! not brokerage) explained to me the following: if i am travelling with the intention to return before losing the status of US tax resident, the checking account is free to use. Like, even for a year or so, just need to maintain US address on file. But if i intend to move permanently then i must inform within 1 month to convert the account to the international
But in general once the person changes his tax status to NRA then becomes an expat. There is a veeery specific cases when the NRA is a physical resident of US, but in most of them it is virtually impossible to certify such person as a W8 (however, some institutions after a months of ping-pong finally agree)
Thank you.

I'm not too familiar with NRA (non-resident alien?). Doesn't this status come into the picture when you acquire foreign nationality / citizenship and renounce US citizenship though?

My understanding of an expat is someone who is still a US citizen, but living abroad.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by mitchel »

Marseille07 wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 6:51 pmDoesn't this status come into the picture when you acquire foreign nationality / citizenship and renounce US citizenship though?
yeah, it is not applicable to you therefore may ignore
however, this bank regardless the citizenship of account holder strictly considers their physical residence + tax residence. If you are expat in the country where they are not lisenced then they say farewell
that's why i posted the question about HSBC and Citi. Seems they are lesser strict about this
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Marseille07 »

mitchel wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 7:07 pm
Marseille07 wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 6:51 pmDoesn't this status come into the picture when you acquire foreign nationality / citizenship and renounce US citizenship though?
yeah, it is not applicable to you therefore may ignore
however, this bank regardless the citizenship of account holder strictly considers their physical residence + tax residence. If you are expat in the country where they are not lisenced then they say farewell
that's why i posted the question about HSBC and Citi. Seems they are lesser strict about this
No worries, I too heard Schwab Bank isn't international friendly. HSBC might be good. I never bank with Citibank because I was treated terribly before.

IBKR isn't exactly a bank but I heard they are international friendly.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Maple »

mitchel wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 6:32 pm
Maple wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 6:26 pmHSBC is overall slightly better for international service and convenience
did you have Premier or Advance?
Fair point. I got Premier by transferring shares into HSBC's brokerage (I don't recall what the asset minimum for Premier is). The brokerage is mediocre, by the way, but if a person's investment strategy is buy and hold, it seldom matters.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by myfrogger »

I had a post typed but it ended up being the longest one here. It's much better to start with a question: what are you needing specifically in a bank account? One thing I can tell you is to have multiple bank accounts set up for redundancy.
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asset_chaos
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by asset_chaos »

OP here. As this old thread has been revived, I'll relate what I ended up doing, for what that's worth. I did not exhaustively investigate the list of possible banks. State Dept Credit Union seemed good enough and set up to handle US ex-pats. Opening the account was rather easy, eveything was done online; I didn't even need to call. Fill out online form with usual information. Needed to upload scan of passport and scan of a utility bill with our non-US address. For some documents to sign, they sent a link to access a secure e-signature program. They fedex'ed the welcome documents and a debit card, all of which arrived around 3 days after opening account. For the 2 years since it's been a fucntional bank account that I use only occasionally, just like every other US bank account I've had since moving abroad. The account is hooked up to Vanguard, I've opened a CD, I use billpay 3-4 times a year, and I got a no-foreign-fee credit card (whose exchange rate when I check has been within 0.5% of spot rate). There may be better accounts for ex-pats, but this one is pretty good and has met all my needs so far.

The ease of opening this credit union account without requiring a US address really exposes the lie that it's difficult, onerous, or legally impossible for other US financial institutions to service US citizen ex-pats. If a little credit union can do it this seamlessly, bigger institutions clearly could too, if they cared to make the effort.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Marseille07 »

asset_chaos wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 9:18 pm The ease of opening this credit union account without requiring a US address really exposes the lie that it's difficult, onerous, or legally impossible for other US financial institutions to service US citizen ex-pats. If a little credit union can do it this seamlessly, bigger institutions clearly could too, if they cared to make the effort.
My understanding is that it's not that they didn't make the effort. The lawmakers created FATCA, the Patriot Act, PFIC etc etc to inconvenience the expats for unknown benefit. The big banks started alienating expat customers as a result.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by asset_chaos »

Marseille07 wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 11:07 pm
asset_chaos wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 9:18 pm The ease of opening this credit union account without requiring a US address really exposes the lie that it's difficult, onerous, or legally impossible for other US financial institutions to service US citizen ex-pats. If a little credit union can do it this seamlessly, bigger institutions clearly could too, if they cared to make the effort.
My understanding is that it's not that they didn't make the effort. The lawmakers created FATCA, the Patriot Act, PFIC etc etc to inconvenience the expats for unknown benefit. The big banks started alienating expat customers as a result.
You may be thinking of non-US financial institutions. As I said, US financial institutions, many of whom have been reported on this board to close or otherwise limit accounts if one moves outside the US. State Dept credit union has to comply with the Patriot Act, but that doesn't seem to block it supplying service to US citizen ex-pats. FATCA and PFIC don't apply to US based financial institutions. I agree that those acts discourage non-US financial institutions from jumping through the hoops needed to service US ex-pats.
Regards, | | Guy
typical.investor
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by typical.investor »

asset_chaos wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 4:17 am State Dept credit union has to comply with the Patriot Act, but that doesn't seem to block it supplying service to US citizen ex-pats.
Understand in many cases it is NOT US regulations preventing services to US citizens, but rather the regulations of the country where they are resident.

Take Australia, I don't believe they have restrictions on Australian residents opening accounts with foreign financial firms. Many countries do, and this is why Schwab international (which is only a US brokerage) has far fewer countries that they can accept applications from (US citizen or citizen of that country -doesn't matter) than a brokerage like International Brokers which is set up to operate in the countries with such restrictions.

Also understand that when it comes to compliance, who knows. I got rejected by the State Dept. credit union for reason unknown. I suspect it's my country of residence and know Schwab can't open a brokerage account for me due to residence either. I do have a brokerage account at Schwab and can use their services, but am unable to open additional accounts while in my current country of residence (no not North Korea or anyplace restricted like that) due to the regulations where I live.

Some smaller firms will accept application because their compliance isn't fully implemented and some larger companies will just reject people outright because they don't care to look into the particulars of each case and may have more to loose in terms of penalties to their foreign operations.

Ok, so the State Dept credit union accepts expats in at least one country. That's the only conclusion I draw. I do suspect that the State Dept credit union is perhaps more willing to bear the burden of compliance since they serve State Department Employees who very often are overseas.

Auto financing available even if car is garaged overseas. Really? I wonder how many other US banks would do that. Seems like the collateral on the loan is the car most places would be unwilling to have to repossess it if necessary from overseas. I don't think most banks would be willing to do that and that the State Dept credit union is a bit unique.
Marseille07
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Marseille07 »

asset_chaos wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 4:17 am
Marseille07 wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 11:07 pm
asset_chaos wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 9:18 pm The ease of opening this credit union account without requiring a US address really exposes the lie that it's difficult, onerous, or legally impossible for other US financial institutions to service US citizen ex-pats. If a little credit union can do it this seamlessly, bigger institutions clearly could too, if they cared to make the effort.
My understanding is that it's not that they didn't make the effort. The lawmakers created FATCA, the Patriot Act, PFIC etc etc to inconvenience the expats for unknown benefit. The big banks started alienating expat customers as a result.
You may be thinking of non-US financial institutions. As I said, US financial institutions, many of whom have been reported on this board to close or otherwise limit accounts if one moves outside the US. State Dept credit union has to comply with the Patriot Act, but that doesn't seem to block it supplying service to US citizen ex-pats. FATCA and PFIC don't apply to US based financial institutions. I agree that those acts discourage non-US financial institutions from jumping through the hoops needed to service US ex-pats.
I was actually talking about US financial institutions serving expats...as I was told by a private banker at Chase who mentioned the Patriot Act. Now, how clueful he was is a different question :D

You're right that FATCA and PFIC don't apply to US based financial institutions, I got them mixed up.
TedSwippet
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by TedSwippet »

Marseille07 wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 9:34 am You're right that FATCA and PFIC don't apply to US based financial institutions, I got them mixed up.
Non-US banks and financial institutions are certainly where nearly all of FATCA is (extraterritorially) aimed, but there is still some 'blowback' that affects US banks. Typically, additional and stringent KYC and withholding rules for non-US clients, and perhaps some extra reporting of activities to the IRS, all of which US banks are probably not all that keen on having to do:

FATCA Information for U.S. Financial Institutions and Entities | IRS

One thing worth bearing in mind, is that while FATCA is not the direct cause of US citizens having problems opening and holding US bank and investment accounts, it can be an indirect one.

For nationals of any country other than the US who live outside their country of nationality, banking and investing locally is not an issue. Depending on circumstance, they may have little or no need for 'foreign' (to their country of residence) accounts. So it might not matter if 'foreign' banks won't open accounts for them. A Frenchman, or German, or Filipino living the UK will have no issues using UK banks and UK investment platforms.

In contrast, FATCA has made US citizens 'persona non grata' at many non-US banks, so that they are now effectively corralled by the combination of citizenship-based taxation and FATCA into banking and investing via US banks. That is, if they can find one that will take them when they live outside of the US.
Marseille07
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Marseille07 »

TedSwippet wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 10:42 am
Marseille07 wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 9:34 am You're right that FATCA and PFIC don't apply to US based financial institutions, I got them mixed up.
Non-US banks and financial institutions are certainly where nearly all of FATCA is (extraterritorially) aimed, but there is still some 'blowback' that affects US banks. Typically, additional and stringent KYC and withholding rules for non-US clients, and perhaps some extra reporting of activities to the IRS, all of which US banks are probably not all that keen on having to do:

FATCA Information for U.S. Financial Institutions and Entities | IRS

One thing worth bearing in mind, is that while FATCA is not the direct cause of US citizens having problems opening and holding US bank and investment accounts, it can be an indirect one.

For nationals of any country other than the US who live outside their country of nationality, banking and investing locally is not an issue. Depending on circumstance, they may have little or no need for 'foreign' (to their country of residence) accounts. So it might not matter if 'foreign' banks won't open accounts for them. A Frenchman, or German, or Filipino living the UK will have no issues using UK banks and UK investment platforms.

In contrast, FATCA has made US citizens 'persona non grata' at many non-US banks, so that they are now effectively corralled by the combination of citizenship-based taxation and FATCA into banking and investing via US banks. That is, if they can find one that will take them when they live outside of the US.
Right, they're making expats' life very difficult for sure. I'm not sure who benefits how, but it is what it is.
mitchel
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by mitchel »

TedSwippet wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 2:11 amonce you are a US nonresident alien living in a country without US tax treaties, you should move your money out of anything and everything that is US domiciled
does this advice apply to ordinary checking/savings accounts in US banks? I planned to keep some to diversify the geographical assets allocation
international001
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by international001 »

I think it's for people holding more than 60k, and the state tax for your inheritors
TedSwippet
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by TedSwippet »

mitchel wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 2:29 am
TedSwippet wrote: Sat May 15, 2021 2:11 amonce you are a US nonresident alien living in a country without US tax treaties, you should move your money out of anything and everything that is US domiciled
does this advice apply to ordinary checking/savings accounts in US banks? I planned to keep some to diversify the geographical assets allocation
You are okay up to $60k of US situs assets, of any type. And the particular case of a cash balance in a US bank is generally safe from US estate tax, even if above $60k.

Full details in this wiki page: Nonresident alien taxation - Bogleheads
cbeck
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by cbeck »

This discussion doesn't make a distinction between maintaining US bank accounts after moving abroad versus opening a US bank account after moving abroad. The only bank/credit union I know if that will knowingly open a checking account for a US expat is State Department Federal Credit Union. So, anyone who is planning to move abroad for the long term is well-advised to stock up on US bank accounts while still a resident.

For now simulating a US presence with a mail forwarding service, VOIP phone service, vpn, etc. still works satisfactorily, but developments in technology will not all be to our advantage. For instance, one ominous development as smart phones replace desktops is to require that location service be turned on for some functions of the bank's app, such as sending money via Zelle, for instance. Perhaps after the next 9/11-type incident and the subsequent updating of the Patriot's Act, all transactions with the bank could require location verification, which your desktop browser is happy to provide even without GPS. So, the whole thing is fragile. Since expats are not a constituency, it's unlikely that elected officials will take any notice.
international001
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by international001 »

That's another topic. But isn't your location easy to hack, kind of like what a VPN would do?
cbeck
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by cbeck »

international001 wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 6:04 pm That's another topic. But isn't your location easy to hack, kind of like what a VPN would do?
VPNs do not "hack," i.e. discover, a location. Just the opposite. They conceal a location. A VPN may conceal the true location, but it may also leak telltale information such as the DNS server or your computer's time zone setting, that could blow the game. But if the bank insists that you turn on location reporting, then the jig is up.
mitchel
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by mitchel »

i can't stand Citi anymore and either can't rely on them considering being distant from USA. i figure it works good only as long as the extent of use are: a DD from the employer + expenses in convenient grocery store.
but if once the verification failed, like the verification SMS wasn't received, they unleash their security firewalls. later another representative told be that they shouldn't have sent the code to the international phone number as it is not eligible, but their system already have a record that the caller failed to response correctly! and a couple more of phone calls to their customer service - they request to dial from the phone that they can verify that is only domestic phone - no GV or other VOIPs (do we maintain US phone # when residing overseas? not always). if to ask them another couple of questions - they send to the nearest branch, meanwhile the account is locked. thanx, but no thanx
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