That's what some of the world's largest wealth-management firms are saying ahead of Washington's implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, known as Fatca, which seeks to prevent tax evasion by Americans with offshore accounts.
HSBC Holdings, Deutsche Bank, Bank of Singapore and DBS Group Holdings all say they have turned away business. "I don't open US accounts, period," said Su Shan Tan, head of private banking at Singapore-based DBS, Southeast Asia's largest lender, who described regulatory attitudes toward US clients as "Draconian."
The government needs to be tougher on offshore tax crimes than it has been, said US Representative Richard Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat and one of the original sponsors of the legislation. Fatca, introduced after Zurich-based UBS said in 2009 that it aided tax evasion by Americans and agreed to pay $780 million (Dh2,868 million) to avoid prosecution, is already helping to improve banking transparency, he said.
"Most of the hedge funds I know in Asia won't take American clients," said Faber.
Bank of Singapore, the private-banking arm of Oversea-Chinese Banking, ranked strongest in the world for the last two years by Bloomberg Markets magazine, has turned away millions of dollars from Americans because it doesn't want to deal with the regulatory hassle, according to Chief Executive Officer Renato de Guzman. The bank had $32 billion under management as of the beginning of the year.
At industry meetings he attends in Singapore, not accepting US clients is "quite a prevailing sentiment," de Guzman said. There are 18 private banks operating in Singapore, including units run by UBS, Credit Suisse Group, Deutsche Bank and HSBC, he said.
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