How US law implemented by Europe discriminates against Americans.
An $800 an hour KPMG/PWC/Deloitte consulting lawyer crafted this typical bank page to forbid US residents from purchasing securities in Scandinavia, according to SEC regulations from a 1933 law.
“I confirm that I am not a U.S. Person” (A US person in normal English is all of us.) A “US person” in legalese in the Securities Act of 1933 (SEC rules) excludes US citizens who are not resident in USA. Hence, you are not disallowed from purchasing US securities and not disallowed from entering this site. However, 99.999% of the population does not know and understand this law). Hence, an immigrant in Sweden would not know that he is not a US person according to SEC rules and would not proceed.
And the $800-an-hour lawyer writes the entire sentence “I confirm that I am not a U.S. Person or a citizen of any other Ineligible Jurisdiction” and makes it so that 99.9999999999% of us do not have the full understanding to continue onwards and purchase US securities as we are allowed. In order to proceed, you need fo fully understand that the 2nd half of the sentence is independent and does not refer to the first half. You also need to have understood all of the laws of the US jurisdiction and the law of any other jurisdiction before being able to make the conclusion that legally you can proceed to enter that bank’s site.
This is why compliance lawyers are getting $800 an hour and why the world banks do not have the revenue from US citizens. Because you can’t understand the law and they can’t understand the law.
It would be nearly impossible for a bank to segregate US securities from all the securities (imagine a bank in Scandinavia having a special service only for Americans). Hence, a bank cannot allow any US persons to enter its system and violate SEC rules.
The bank can read its own confusing policy regarding investments and US persons, and first wrongly bars the American living in Scandinavia (an immigrant) from purchasing US securities.
Then, the bank doesn’t understand its own interpretation, and begins to bar US citizen immigrants from all services.
Those bank officials that do understand, have done a risk analysis and simply realize that all of this legalese would require expensive training and expose the bank to risks of punishment from the US law system. Many find it is safest and most profitable to just throw all of those (common-language) US persons out of their bank.
There is no evidence that Swedbank is throwing anyone out. However, there are other banks and financial institutions in Scandinavia, in Europe, and in the world that ARE throwing out American immigrants from their country’s banks. However, the website certainly is not encouraging American immigrants to be their customers.
However, the $800-an-hour compliance lawyers have fully enabled you disallow yourself from entering their bank. The only way to enter would be to indeed have full understanding of SEC law and any and all other laws which might be applicable. Since you don’t, you probably won’t go past their warning.
Prior to the FATCA world, most banks had at one time used some consultants and had such policies written somewhere in their books. However, it was just one other inane rule amongst all other inane rules. FATCA changed all of that. All banks now have the assignment from FATCA to locate all persons suspected of being a US person for tax purposes (not for tax law). All banks throughout the world are spending hundreds of billions of dollars to implement another interpretation of “US person”.
The practice of barring US persons for tax purposes from banks services were taken to the EU commissioner, by MEP Sophie Int Veld. The commissioner replied that this type of discrimination of American immigrants in EU is not disallowed. “Banks have the right, under the contractual freedom principle, to decide with whom they want to contract. They can in any event refuse clients for sound commercial reasons.”
The commissioner went on to say that the EU is recommending to establish one bank in each country as a haven for American immigrants in EU. (to date there is no information that the recommendation is implemented)
In a section that appears to have been edited long after publish date, the commissioner says that FATCA discrimination is not allowed according to US law in the IGA agreements. However, there is no evidence that any country has made legislation preventing discrimination against American immigrants in their countries. And EU has definitely not acted to eliminate this discrimination. In fact, the commissioner has stated why discrimination of American immigrants is allowable.
Please note that this is anonymous, the writer is not a lawyer, not a financial professional. The writer is only trying to understand everything that is not legal.