I was terrified we’d lose all our money: banks tell US customers they won’t work with Americans

Good profile on the American dual national expatriates being caught up by FATCA:

Angry Canadians are rare. But Patricia Moon qualifies. Until 2012, Moon was actually an American – albeit one who had lived in Canada for 32 years. She settled in so well that in 2008, she added Canadian citizenship to her US one.

But Moon cut ties with America three years ago, after new banking laws aimed at tax evaders required expats like her to file more thorough US tax returns. She was five years behind on the news. “I was terrified we’d lose all our money,” she says.

After back-filing years of tax returns, Moon renounced her US citizenship in 2012. It was a defiant act she describes as being one of the first canaries to leave the coalmine as US banking laws make life more difficult for American expatriates. She wasn’t pleased she had to do it.

“It was like cutting off my right arm,” to not be American any more, says Moon, who only became a Canadian citizen in 2008. “Now, I’m simply angry.”

….On a Skype call with a reporter, Victoria Ferauge sits in her sunlit Paris house, smoking the occasional cigarette, and following the day’s French Parliament session with particular interest. Ferauge, a Seattle-born American married to a Frenchman, has been following and blogging about US tax laws for the last three years.

On this Thursday afternoon, France’s parliament is voting to approve an inter-governmental agreement with the US on Fatca compliance.

“A vast majority of Americans suddenly woke up to what’s going on,” Verauge says. She relates stories of fellow expatriates who have had to take their names off joint accounts – some holding small family inheritances – because banks would not accept US customers.

“My bank will not answer questions,” she says about her enquiries regarding their Fatca compliance.

Verauge is preparing to move to Osaka, but she has doubts how the law will play out in Japan. She is infuriated to be put in the position of suddenly finding herself in a foreign country and not having a dollar she can spend.

“I will give up my citizenship if it came to that.”

I was terrified we’d lose all our money: banks tell US customers they won’t work with Americans | Money | theguardian.com.