Reps. Maloney & Wilson to Treasury: Protect Overseas Americans from Wholesale Bank Discontinuance

Jun 10, 2009
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Responding to reports that taxpaying Americans living abroad are being denied access to bank accounts due to regulatory uncertainty, Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Joe Wilson (R-SC) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Geithner asking him to outline what steps are being taken to protect overseas American’s access to financial services. “We must protect the ability of overseas American to have access to financial services,”  said Rep. Maloney.  While I certainly support fighting tax evasion, and believe that banks must do their due diligence with all customers, wholesale bank discontinuance is not only unfair but unnecessary.  I call on the Secretary of the Treasury to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to prevent oversees Americans from this double squeeze and preserve their access to the banking system.”

“American citizens living abroad should not have their access to financial services impeded by otherwise well-meaning efforts to combat tax evasion and ensure our banks have accurate information about their customers,” said Rep. Wilson.  “This is a renewed and important effort on the part of the Americans Abroad Caucus to share the concerns of overseas American citizens with Secretary Geithner, to raise awareness among our colleagues about this effort, and to encourage the Secretary’s involvement in addressing this issue.”


According to organizations representing Americans living abroad a large number of American citizens residing abroad have been denied accounts with American banks citing difficulties in complying with the “know your customer” requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act as added by the USA Patriot Act.  Additionally, there are reports that British and other foreign banks will refuse American clients if the new measures proposed for the Qualified Intermediary rules are adopted as expected on January 1, 2010.

Text of Letter: