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#2158249 - 12/22/17 05:24 PM Banking Foreign Nationals
downbytheriver Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 51
Georgia
I'm just wondering what policies other banks are following concerning banking foreign nationals. I have a situation where a company we bank prepares tax returns for foreign investors. The majority of these investors will never come to the US. The relationship officer wants us to open 100-150 individual accounts so that tax refunds may be deposited into those accounts. Then they would like for us to also provide debit cards and checks to the foreign nationals so that they may access the funds. They have offered to have their passports certified for identification purposes. I am totally against providing these accounts for obvious reasons but may be fighting an uphill battle. Any advice or suggestions as to what others are doing would be helpful.

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#2158260 - 12/22/17 05:43 PM Re: Banking Foreign Nationals downbytheriver
Elwood P. Dowd Offline
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Elwood P. Dowd
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 21,939
Next to Harvey
Quote:
They have offered to have their passports certified for identification purposes.


That's really big of them, but if you are willing to do what they ask, they should at least offer to bear your children.

Banking a foreign national who is sitting across the desk from you is one thing. It requires some expertise and a certain appetite for risk. Opening an account that you expect to have a zero balance for a foreign national you have never seen, will never see, just because a third party wants you to is just bad judgment. (N.B. Once the account is open, it is open for all other types of activity, not just deposits from a source your bank regards as credible.)

Probably the quickest way to kill this idea is to point to the requirements the new due diligence regulation would impose and the fact that some percentage of these customers would be classified as "higher risk"; i.e. getting a passport is a drop in the bucket.

P.S. Curiosity only, what in the devil does it mean to "certify" a passport? I ask the question only to open the door to saying, I don't think it means anything at all.
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#2158264 - 12/22/17 05:47 PM Re: Banking Foreign Nationals downbytheriver
rlcarey Offline
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rlcarey
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 80,325
Galveston, TX
I was approached years ago to do something on a similar vein and found at the time that a separate BIN would be needed to issue debt cards internationally, which seeing as I didn't want to do it either for the same reasons that I am sure you don't, killed the proposal. Not sure if that is still the case.
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#2158319 - 12/26/17 12:58 PM Re: Banking Foreign Nationals downbytheriver
downbytheriver Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 51
Georgia
Thanks for both of your thoughts on the issues. I agree that certifying a passport means nothing to me on my end. I believe that these types of accounts belong with a large bank with an international presence. I'm hoping the Chief Risk Officer will side with me. As for the debit cards, yes apparently this is still a big deal.

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