Thursday, December 13, 2012


Next year, foreign financial institutions will begin to phase in the provisions of FATCA, which imposes  extensive reporting requirements upon them, regarding customers who are US citizens. The problem is, that personal information, in the wrong hands, could prove to be extremely valuable.

FATCA requires foreign banks to collect from their American clients, beginning in 2013:

(1) Evidence of US citizenship.
(2) The place of birth of the customer.
(3)  His home address.
(4) His US telephone number.
(5) Wire Transfer instructions on file for the client's US bank account.
(6) Power of Attorney information on the client's Attorney-in-Fact.

With the above, which might be easily obtained by bribing an underpaid, local bank employee, a criminal organization could engage in:

(A) Kidnapping for ransom, either the account holder, or the Attorney-in-Fact.
(B) Identity Theft and impersonation of account holder for the purposes of fraud.
(C) Theft of bank accounts that are accessible online.

Forget about the compliant of foreign banks, about the time, trouble and expense involved in effective FATCA compliance, what about the increased risk, to the customer, that he or she will become a crime victim ?

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