Alberta Bank First in Canada to Shun US Clients Amid FATCA
An Alberta bank is believed to be the first Canadian financial institution to deny service to Americans, citing the burden of complying with strict new U.S. tax rules.
Canadian Direct Financial, a subsidiary of Edmonton-based Canadian Western Bank, is refusing to open new Internet accounts for U.S. citizens, even to those living in Canada.
“The information and documentation required to open and monitor an account within [Canadian Direct Financial] for a U.S citizen or resident outside of Canada is prohibitive to providing the level of service our clients expect and deserve,” explained Kirby Hill, a Canadian Western Bank vice-president and spokesman.
Canadian financial institutions have complained loudly about steep FATCA-related compliance costs, which can reach as high as $100-million for each of the Big Six banks.
Editor’s Note: Anyone who has been following FATCA should not be surprised by this development. If you are new to FATCA, start here.