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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to apply for a Santander 123 account but there is a checkbox asking you to confirm the following statement:

[you] are a tax resident solely in the UK, don’t pay tax outside the UK and agree to advise Santander of any change to these circumstances within 30 days of the change
I am tax resident in the UK but I still have to file a US tax return and occasionally owe money to the IRS. I'll give them a call anyway but do any US expats have an account with them?

Thanks.
 

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I went to apply for a Santander 123 account but there is a checkbox asking you to confirm the following statement:



I am tax resident in the UK but I still have to file a US tax return and occasionally owe money to the IRS. I'll give them a call anyway but do any US expats have an account with them?

Thanks.
I've moved your post to the tax forum where I think you'll get a better response.
 

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This is the (in)famous FATCA stuff, that is starting to bite US citizens in the butt. Safest thing to do is to be honest thing - admit you're a US citizen and provide your US SSN if/when asked for it. Assuming you were born in the US, it's going to be questioned anyhow, and if you try to get around it, they'll reject you out of hand for "lying" on the application form.

As far as banks go, if you are turned down by Santander, try finding a smaller, "local" bank. Banks without an international presence/market are exempted from the FATCA reporting requirements (although many of them do report the information to the national bank authority anyhow). Remember, too, that at this point, they are only reporting year-end balances along with your SSN.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I went to apply for a Santander 123 account but there is a checkbox asking you to confirm the following statement:



I am tax resident in the UK but I still have to file a US tax return and occasionally owe money to the IRS. I'll give them a call anyway but do any US expats have an account with them?

Thanks.
It may just be to stop you applying on line. The T&Cs only bar non-doms. It would be surprising if Santander of all banks was trying to avoid all reporting. They perhaps just want you to provide all the necessary relevant extra documentation (FATCA, CDOT, CRS, as applicable) in a branch where they can copy it and open the account all in one go.

Is my guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the information!

I didn't expect FATCA to be an issue with such a large bank. I do have accounts with several other large banks but they were opened a while ago. This particular account has been popular because of its relatively attractive interest rate.

I am the director of a business in the UK and I've had the same problems trying to open a business savings account. The banks offering the highest (still very low, of course) rates are quite small and the same wording about signatories only having tax obligations in the UK is on their pages (I realised I asked a similar question here a few weeks ago).

I will go into a branch and find out more.
 

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Just a note - I didn't tweak on the idea that you were applying online rather than in person. Based on my own experience here in France, and the OECD "know your customer" regulations, I have found that signing up for an online account may be somewhat more difficult than going into a branch and dealing face to face with a banker (or "counselor" as they are called here in France).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Just a note - I didn't tweak on the idea that you were applying online rather than in person. Based on my own experience here in France, and the OECD "know your customer" regulations, I have found that signing up for an online account may be somewhat more difficult than going into a branch and dealing face to face with a banker (or "counselor" as they are called here in France).
I think that in the UK it's more to do with keeping processing costs down. Online applications can be handled automatically for next to nothing provided no additional information has to be requested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone for the information.

I went into a branch and they told me just to check the box and apply. The application asked for my SSN so I'll update here and let you know how it goes.

The UX is confusing but I supposed I should have given it a go before posting here.

I'm encouraged to try again for a business savings account despite their customer support's information. Unfortunatley, I'm not sure if these banks have branches here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Another update here. I recently received a "Self Certification for Individuals" document from the "Retail FATCA" department at Santander.

It asks me to list the countries that I pay tax in along with my tax IDs there and also to confirm that I am a US citizen.

Interestingly, it says that "by law, we may have to give information about you and your account to HMRC [...]. They may then pass this on to other countries' tax authorities in line with international agreements or treaties".

I thought that these companies reported directly to the US authorities and didn't realise that HMRC served a a go between. It looks like this is part of the Automatic Exchange of Information system.
 

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The UK AEOI implementation encompasses four distinct reporting regimes: FATCA, CDOT, CRS and DAC. USP accounts are reported under FATCA. The reports go to HMRC because UK banks can't legally share their customers' personal information with a foreign tax agency.
 

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Just a note on this - most European countries have set things up so that the banks actually report the information to the national central bank, which is then responsible for passing the required information to the appropriate authority, be it the IRS, other national tax authorities or whatever. To some extent, this is a "protection" in that, regardless of what information your bank collects, the national authority is likely going to strip off only what has been asked for by whatever treaty or regulation comes into effect.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I can definitely see the advantages of the centralised system. I also didn't realise there are several equivalent programs in other countries now. Of course the US has its own system.

I also recently had to complete an online Know Your Customer form for my company's HSBC account. What a nightmare! The form didn't work and I was sent a letter indicating that the account was being closed, end of story, because I wasn't able to upload documents.

Of course that wasn't the case but their customer support team is completely disconnected from the Know Your Customer department. I don't know if this was because of FATCA as well.
 

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Just a note on this - most European countries have set things up so that the banks actually report the information to the national central bank, which is then responsible for passing the required information to the appropriate authority, be it the IRS, other national tax authorities or whatever. To some extent, this is a "protection" in that, regardless of what information your bank collects, the national authority is likely going to strip off only what has been asked for by whatever treaty or regulation comes into effect.
I'm not sure that's the case in the UK. There's a central portal controlling what data the banks can input for transmission to HMRC. There's no advantage for the bank in trying to send more to the IRS than is required - it would just add to their costs to do so.

The risk for UK USCs (based on my experience only) is that some banks may not bother with the "curing" process but just treat all accounts with indicia as reportable. I found Santander very quick and efficient about accepting my CLN as proof of non-USness; Lloyds - not so much.
 

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I can definitely see the advantages of the centralised system. I also didn't realise there are several equivalent programs in other countries now. Of course the US has its own system.

I also recently had to complete an online Know Your Customer form for my company's HSBC account. What a nightmare! The form didn't work and I was sent a letter indicating that the account was being closed, end of story, because I wasn't able to upload documents.

Of course that wasn't the case but their customer support team is completely disconnected from the Know Your Customer department. I don't know if this was because of FATCA as well.
I've had a somewhat similar experience with Lloyds. They presented me with an online AEOI questionnaire as I was trying to log in. I wasn't able to complete it, because the tool was apparently not designed to cope with the case of a customer with a US birthplace but not a US citizen. Consequently I couldn't complete the questionnaire and was unable to access my account.

Unfortunately, as things stand customers have few rights because a credit account is a commercial contract and the bank can freely give itself the right to close the account at the drop of a hat, should customers object to this treatment.
 

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Out of curiosity, do any of these banks make any attempt to validate the information you give them online? Do they need scanned copies of passports etc. to verify that you entered the correct birthplace? (In case, say, one is confused and thought San Francisco CA meant San Francisco Canada.)
 

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Out of curiosity, do any of these banks make any attempt to validate the information you give them online? Do they need scanned copies of passports etc. to verify that you entered the correct birthplace? (In case, say, one is confused and thought San Francisco CA meant San Francisco Canada.)
I only wish Lloyds would validate the information I'm trying to give them.
 
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