After years of lobbying US government officials over the problems that American expats have been having in being able to get bank accounts and mortgages while abroad, the American Citizens Abroad organisation is partnering with the State Department Federal Credit Union (SDFCU) to provide such expats with US-citizen-friendly banking services.
The ACA said it had developed the ACA/SDFCU Account, as it is called, in cooperation with the SDFCU. It is designed to give ordinary American expats a full range of banking services without their needing to provide either a US address or be affiliated with a government agency.
Ever since President Obama signed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act into law in 2010, increasing numbers of banks around the world have been refusing to accept Americans as clients, and asking those they already had on their books to leave, in order to avoid the costly and time-consuming need to report these individuals’ bank account details to the US authorities – as FATCA requires.
“As an organisation, we identified a pressing need in the overseas community, and have worked with our friends at the State Department Federal Credit Union to arrive at a win-win solution,” ACA executive director Marylouise Serrato said, in announcing the new service today.
Thousands seen affected
While the exact number of overseas Americans who are unable to maintain banking services back home isn’t known, the ACA estimates thousands may be affected, and therefore stand to benefit from ACA and the SDFCU partnering to offer these accounts.
One of the problems many Americans living abroad face is that they typically need a US bank account to pay bills for an elderly parent back in the US; pay school fees for a child who is in school in the US; make tax payments, and otherwise carry out dozens of other normal, everyday banking transactions.
A US bank account also makes it easier to maintain an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) or other deferred compensation arrangement. It also simplifies investing in many types of mutual funds.
“These accounts will allow Americans living abroad to more easily conduct financial transactions by gaining access to e-banking access, financial planning services, IRAs, Share Certificates, and much more,” the ACA said, in unveiling its new ACA/SDFCU Accounts.
The ACA and the SDFCU said they plan to make their new US expat-friendly bank accounts available to all ACA members living overseas. Those wishing to obtain one of the accounts would start by signing up for ACA membership through the ACA’s website (www.americansabroad.org).
From there, they would be able to link directly to the SDFCU’s account opening page, according to the ACA.
More information about the SDFCU may be found on its website, by clicking here.
The ACA is based in Rockville, Maryland, and is an advocacy organisation that works to help expat Americans. Its sister entity, the American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation, is a tax-exempt, public charitable organisation which focuses on educating members of the public and Government officials and staff about Americans abroad and their needs.