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U.S. Brokerage firms close accounts for US expats


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Schwab domestic US checking accounts are covered by FDIC.  Are their checking accounts under their international division  covered by FDIC?  I realize that brokerage accounts anywhere are not protected, just asking about checking accounts.  Thanks.

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18 hours ago, jrm30655 said:

We are guests here.  The Mexican government has graciously allowed us to live here.  It can kick us out at any time.

I am constantly amazed that people come her and bitch that it is not like their home country.  It is a "foreign country" and the rules, regulations and customs are different.

If you don't like what goes on here, don't go trying to change it, just pack up and go somewhere else.

 

 

I said nothing about changing it or not liking it, so I don't know if this comment is intended for me.  I just don't think we are guests.  I think other definitions apply.

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3 hours ago, Zeb said:

I said nothing about changing it or not liking it, so I don't know if this comment is intended for me.  I just don't think we are guests.  I think other definitions apply.

It was just a general statement with no one person in mind.

I think we should at least act like guests.  I see way too many people down here, especially during the snowbird season who are "ugly Americans" and "ugly Canadians".

 

 

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15 hours ago, Zeb said:

I said nothing about changing it or not liking it, so I don't know if this comment is intended for me.  I just don't think we are guests.  I think other definitions apply.

How about "boarders"?  You know, like you live here but the landlord can boot you for any number of reasons.  Of course, that's the same deal as "guests". IMO, the problem is that some "guests" forget that they don't own the place.

Anyone with a better definition, by all means.....speak up.

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How about "paying guests?"  Like hotels and B&Bs have.

What does this have to do with bank policies towards expats?

BTW we've had the opportunity to witness some pretty shoddy treatment of our Oaxaca student by Bancomer.  My general impression is that Mexican banks aren't very user friendly.  Thus far we've done just fine running everything through Actinver.

:D

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 2/4/2017 at 7:35 PM, BrianInMexico said:

The wording in this article is unnecessarily inflammatory, possibly to get you to come to the "Info Session" and sign up.  This is also NOT new news and has been going on for years.  Not all brokerage companies take this attitude of dropping low balance, non-resident, clients because they don't want the hassle of Govt reporting when they already have relatively small margins of profits on these few clients.  Other brokers, such as TD Ameritrade, are happy to take you as a client with no hassle even if you have a Mexican address and no US (eg. Laredo or family) mailing address.

I have helped 2 people set up accts with TD Ameritrade in the last 3 weeks.  I also have a client who has just this month changed his address from US to Mexico and therefore changed his Schwab acct from US to International.  There may be other brokerage houses that also are happy to have Mexican resident US persons as their clients but I have not researched it because I have been extremely happy with TD Ameritrade. 

will these brokerage firms only take you as a client if you use money market and don't do any trading? If so , I would love to know. How about credit cards. I just used my Amex card and it  denied my purchase in Mexico

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I've never had any problems with debit or credit cards but I keep the bank notified that I will be in MX.  I don't actually tell them that I live in MX, I just say that I visit frequently.

Every time that I get a new card, I have to get the credit limit raised and get it marked for use in MX.  You would think that it would follow but it doesn't.   

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1 hour ago, michael2595 said:

will these brokerage firms only take you as a client if you use money market and don't do any trading? If so , I would love to know. How about credit cards. I just used my Amex card and it  denied my purchase in Mexico

Can't answer your money market question. I have a Ameriprise account with no problem. All, or most US issued credit cards, require permission from you for using in foreign countries. That includes travel and using a card here. Call your card company and give approval for use in Mexico. If you're here permanently, insist that that your approval is permanent.

If you've already done and the card was refused, call the card company and straighten it out.

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16 minutes ago, Sea said:

Can't answer your money market question. I have a Ameriprise account with no problem. All, or most US issued credit cards, require permission from you for using in foreign countries. That includes travel and using a card here. Call your card company and give approval for use in Mexico. If you're here permanently, insist that that your approval is permanent.

If you've already done and the card was refused, call the card company and straighten it out.

Vanguard will probably take you.

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Actually, AmEx does not require outside US travel notification.  Been that way for years. 

From their website:

FAQs for "travel notification"

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There are no restrictions on trading with Schwab International or TD Ameritrade accts.  I have financial planning clients who use both of these firms with Mexican addresses.  I have also heard that there Is no problem with Interactive Brokers either, though I do not have any clients who currently use their services.

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I wouldn't take any chances with any account in the US to let them know I live in Mexico.  I have a friend who had over $100K in her savings/checking account and they dumped her.  She let it slip in a phone conversation that she lived full time in Mexico.  She had to find another bank in just 30 days.  It was very difficult to get everything changed over.

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On 7/15/2017 at 10:23 PM, jrm30655 said:

We are guests here.  The Mexican government has graciously allowed us to live here.  It can kick us out at any time.

I am constantly amazed that people come her and bitch that it is not like their home country.  It is a "foreign country" and the rules, regulations and customs are different.

If you don't like what goes on here, don't go trying to change it, just pack up and go somewhere else.

 

 

I am not certain that this last sentence above is intended for me or not.  In case it is, I am disagreeing with the term guest.  I like it here just fine.  I don't like people who are nasty to me and feel the need to attack, because they don't like my commentary on a word.  I don't tell other people to go home because they disagree with something in their location.  There are things to dislike in every country and each person has a right to his/her opinion.  It's not for me to judge them or how they should feel.

I don't consider myself a guest when I pay fees.  

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I believe the underlying problem with expats and brokerage firms lies with the onerous Dodd-Frank bill. Brokerage firms are scared to death of making a mistake and opening themselves up for scrutiny.

I've had a TD Ameritrade account dating back to the pre-merger days of Datek. Never a problem. A few months ago the bloated compliance department took exception of an incoming transfer of funds from my BB&T checking account and then a "suspicious" ATM withdrawal 5 days later. These unrelated events raised a huge red flag with that department with threats of closing my account. If they had looked further they would have seen the same sequence of events spanning years.

It's sad that rational people employed only to look for potential money laundering or some other nefarious activity cause us so much trouble.

When I finally retired from my programming job for credit unions, compliance had grown to the biggest department of a small company. Useless government regulations sucked a lot of profit out of my clients and a lot of the banking industry.

In order to satisfy Ameritrade I had to list my primary address as my home in Mexico although everyone I spoke to knew I lived here. The mailing address in Dallas remains the same. Apparently that little change was enough to ease their concerns.

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It isn't necessary to put up with the "fear factor" that causes many expats to go through hoops concealing the fact that they live in Mexico.   There are financial institutions which are set up to deal with people living all over the world and happy to have them as clients.  Some of them will let your correspondence arrive at a P.O. Box in Texas which routes itself to a mail service hereabouts, and some will deliver to your home address.  Google American Citizens Abroad and find some answers.  When Banamex USA threw my account under the bus along with my credit card, I got mighty busy on the net.  Result:  comfort zone occupied.

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On 2/5/2017 at 3:22 PM, Bisbee Gal said:

Got to www.sdfcu.org  

Hit the green Join button.

You will go to the Become a Member page.  One choice is Become a Member  or Overseas Applicant.  I applied several months ago using my US address.  Their site says you cannot apply online if you live overseas; you have to call them.  

In any case you need to belong to an associated group....there's a drop down menu on the next page.....there are a lot of associated organizations...maybe you belong to one???    I did not, so I joined the American Consumer Council because it had the cheapest membership fee ($15 USD for lifetime).  

BTW...I had a lot of q.'s for SDFCU and I emailed them and they are very quick to answer.  

You have to open a savings account first....you only need to 5 bucks in it, I think.  Then you can open a checking account (after their approval).  I also got a cc from them.  

The above older post gives advice on how to open an account with the State Department Federal Credit Union.  They welcome expats.

 

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22 hours ago, Zeb said:

I am not certain that this last sentence above is intended for me or not.  In case it is, I am disagreeing with the term guest.  I like it here just fine.  I don't like people who are nasty to me and feel the need to attack, because they don't like my commentary on a word.  I don't tell other people to go home because they disagree with something in their location.  There are things to dislike in every country and each person has a right to his/her opinion.  It's not for me to judge them or how they should feel.

I don't consider myself a guest when I pay fees.  

It wasn't personally directed at anybody, it was a general observation.  We all live here at the pleasure of the MX government who can cancel our VISAs and toss us out at any time they wish, so I do consider myself a "guest".  I try to act like a "guest".

Most of the permanent people here seem to feel about the same, however, I see a few people (mostly visitors, sunbirds and snowbirds) that think this is "USA South" and expect the same things they find in the USA.  This is not the USA, it is Mexico and it is different.

My internet has been out for 3 days.  When I reported it, they said 1-3 days.  In the US if it wasn't up and running in a day, I'd have been having a fit.  I knew that they'd get it fixed eventually and as you can see, they did.  It's the first time in several years, so it was no big deal.  I could have called every day to check but that would have done nothing and I've learned that over the past decade of living here.  So, I caught up on my reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, of course.  I go with the flow most of the time and don't get upset over these types of things (as you described) as I know it's part of living here, power outages and all.

I think we people are here at first they are not used to these types of things happening and not get serviced more promptly.  Most things I can let ride.  Some things I do not.

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Now back to the topic of finance. As to the Schwab checking or other account covered by FDIC.  The FDIC coverage is an illusion as the FDIC does not have the funds to cover all that they are supposed to insure.  I so wish this was not the case.  We did research this at length and it took a lot of digging.  I cannot provide reference material or links as I didn't keep them.

You can do your own research on this.

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On 9/20/2017 at 8:10 PM, Zeb said:

Now back to the topic of finance. As to the Schwab checking or other account covered by FDIC.  The FDIC coverage is an illusion as the FDIC does not have the funds to cover all that they are supposed to insure.  I so wish this was not the case.  We did research this at length and it took a lot of digging.  I cannot provide reference material or links as I didn't keep them.

You can do your own research on this.

All insurances collected by the FDIC are sent to the treasury and when funds are needed by the FDIC they get funds from the treasury. When you may see a bank just bought by another banks stateside I bet 90 percent of the time it was an arranged marriage between a failing bank and another bank that was put together by the FDIC. The acquireing bank keeps all the performing assets and the FDIC has a liquidation unit to get rid of the non performing loans. Also, one should know that  the laws of the FDIC state that a depositor will get paid back but it does not state by when. The banks have gotten too big to fail and if one does no one is going to come knocking on your door with your money. Just an illusion. The FDIC was never meant to be a permanent agency , just a temporary one after the depression. Basically the FDIC gives bankers the ability to steal since the bankers know that there is FDIC coverage. Back before the FDIC if a banker stole from his bank depositors they would sting him up. We also have a Pension Guaranty Trust fund that has basically no money. When pensions fail they are supposed to be guaranteed but I know of many who got maybe 10 percent of their pension when their steel mill failed. Happens a lot more than you think.

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