any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

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Marseille07
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Marseille07 »

cbeck wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 6:23 pm
international001 wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 6:04 pm That's another topic. But isn't your location easy to hack, kind of like what a VPN would do?
VPNs do not "hack," i.e. discover, a location. Just the opposite. They conceal a location. A VPN may conceal the true location, but it may also leak telltale information such as the DNS server or your computer's time zone setting, that could blow the game. But if the bank insists that you turn on location reporting, then the jig is up.
This is correct. These days the financial institutions are monitoring your every login. Some institutions prompt for OTP on every login when I'm using VPN, even though my IP hasn't changed.
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galeno
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by galeno »

If I were an USA expat I'd use Schwab for bank and broker.
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mitchel
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by mitchel »

If you
galeno wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:49 pmwere an USA expat
you'd not
galeno wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:49 pmuse Schwab for bank
because they do close the accounts of holders who moved abroad for more than 6 months. Moreover, if to apply for a travel notice for S1 card (not HYCA card), it is max 14 days, if to extend they ask - did you immigrate?!
Marseille07
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Marseille07 »

mitchel wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:21 pm If you
galeno wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:49 pmwere an USA expat
you'd not
galeno wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:49 pmuse Schwab for bank
because they do close the accounts of holders who moved abroad for more than 6 months. Moreover, if to apply for a travel notice for S1 card (not HYCA card), it is max 14 days, if to extend they ask - did you immigrate?!
Do you get flagged if you're using their ATM card abroad for over 6 months? A VPN can't really help you if you have cashing needs abroad.
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mitchel
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by mitchel »

Marseille07 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:35 pmDo you get flagged if you're using their ATM card abroad for over 6 months?
myself I don't have such experience yet but other users report that Schwab BANK is not reliable institution for expats in contrast with Schwab BROKER. However, the closure of BANK accounts of expats normally has to be understood as a conversion of HYSA USA account to S1 International account.
Last edited by mitchel on Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Marseille07
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Marseille07 »

mitchel wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:45 pm
Marseille07 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:35 pmDo you get flagged if you're using their ATM card abroad for over 6 months?
myself I don't have such experience yet but other users report that Schwab BANK is not reliable institution for expats in contrast with Schwab BROKER
Right, I heard Schwab Bank was never expat-friendly. Schwab broker used to be but no longer. My understanding is that IBKR would be the best bet for expats.
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mitchel
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by mitchel »

Marseille07 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:48 pmSchwab broker used to be but no longer
may you share some on this? From my knowledge, in this regard they are still better than Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, Vanguard
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Marseille07 »

mitchel wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:54 pm
Marseille07 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:48 pmSchwab broker used to be but no longer
may you share some on this? From my knowledge, in this regard they are still better than Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, Vanguard
I just remember some story of a poster trying to move to Canada and Schwab doesn't service them. But it's possible it might have been Vanguard.
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galeno
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by galeno »

I can't speak about Schwab USA and USA ex-pats. Wife and I are a non-US investors.

We used Schwab International for 20 years (1994 - 2014). Great brokerage. We also also loved Schwab bank. Only problem was no access to non-US bourses and thus high portfolio expenses.

We had to use VERY EXPENSIVE USA domiciled equity ETFs. For FI we were limited to FDIC-insured US bank CDs and DIRECT US treasuries Our TER* = 0.75%.

For the last 7 years we use IBKR. TER* = 0.29%.

*TER (total expense ratio) = ER (expense ratio) + TR (tax ratio).
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galeno
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by galeno »

I can't speak about Schwab USA and USA ex-pats. Wife and I are a non-US investors.

We used Schwab International for 24 years (1991 - 2015). Great brokerage. We also also loved Schwab bank. Only problem was no access to non-US bourses and thus very high portfolio expenses.

We had to use VERY EXPENSIVE USA domiciled equity ETFs. For FI we were limited to brokered FDIC-insured US bank CDs and DIRECT US treasuries Our TER* = 0.75%.

For the last 6 years we use IBKR. TER* = 0.29%.

*TER (total expense ratio) = ER (expense ratio) + TR (tax ratio).
KISS & STC.
Arby
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by Arby »

whodidntante wrote: Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:16 pm I would not suggest Fidelity as an only account if you're living outside the USA. They've locked my accounts twice due to tripping whatever foreigner panic button they have. Or you could use Fidelity, but make sure you use a VPN every time.
How did you get your accounts unlocked?

I live overseas and most of my money is with Fidelity. I am concerned about encountering a situation such as yours.
occambogle
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by occambogle »

The other thing about Schwab is their criteria are not just US-resident vs expat. While they may indeed deal with expats living in more "mainstream" countries they also have a longish list of many countries they simply won't accept customers from even as US citizens. IBKR is much more flexible in this regard. At least that is my experience when trying to open brokerage accounts. But of course IBKR don't offer banking facilities (eg debit card) to non-US-resident customers.
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whodidntante
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by whodidntante »

Arby wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:41 am
whodidntante wrote: Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:16 pm I would not suggest Fidelity as an only account if you're living outside the USA. They've locked my accounts twice due to tripping whatever foreigner panic button they have. Or you could use Fidelity, but make sure you use a VPN every time.
How did you get your accounts unlocked?

I live overseas and most of my money is with Fidelity. I am concerned about encountering a situation such as yours.
I waited until I returned to the US and called. They put me through a ringer of verification questions, details of recent transactions, the color of my dog's fur, etc. Then they asked me what I was doing over there, and where I live. Then they accepted me as their customer again and unlocked my account.

Bottom line: not expat-friendly. At all.
typical.investor
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by typical.investor »

occambogle wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:44 pm The other thing about Schwab is their criteria are not just US-resident vs expat. While they may indeed deal with expats living in more "mainstream" countries they also have a longish list of many countries they simply won't accept customers from even as US citizens.
That's not Schwab's criteria. That is brokerage regulation. If countries prohibit opening accounts for their residents by foreign firms, Schwab can not. I've spoken to them about this.
IBKR is much more flexible in this regard. At least that is my experience when trying to open brokerage accounts. But of course IBKR don't offer banking facilities (eg debit card) to non-US-resident customers.
IBKR is structured to have operations around the world, so are able to open accounts and offer services even in countries that prohibit foreign firms from offering services.
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by occambogle »

typical.investor wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:03 pm That's not Schwab's criteria. That is brokerage regulation. If countries prohibit opening accounts for their residents by foreign firms, Schwab can not. I've spoken to them about this.

IBKR is structured to have operations around the world, so are able to open accounts and offer services even in countries that prohibit foreign firms from offering services.
And yet IBKR LLC (US entity) is willing/able to take on customers resident in a number of countries in which IBKR does not have any local or even regional operations, while Schwab refuses for those same exact countries. If it were really a matter of regulation/legality I don't see why it would be different for one vs the other. Given how rigorous IBKR is on compliance and know-your-customer (KYC) issues (and they are) I highly doubt they'd be doing it if it were illegal, so I'm not convinced that Schwab's (and many other financial institutions) stance is in fact based on any actual legal/regulatory prohibition, but it's a business policy/decision.
Or rather I suspect that Schwab has just decided the KYC burdens required for them to safely take customers from those countries (esp. in terms of anti-money laundering (AML) rules) just aren't worth the bother to them, while IBKR has decided for them that they are.... and for many countries IBKR has positioned themselves into a fairly unique position as a result.
I have no inside knowledge, this is just a guess.... happy to be corrected.
typical.investor
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by typical.investor »

occambogle wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 8:21 am
typical.investor wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:03 pm That's not Schwab's criteria. That is brokerage regulation. If countries prohibit opening accounts for their residents by foreign firms, Schwab can not. I've spoken to them about this.

IBKR is structured to have operations around the world, so are able to open accounts and offer services even in countries that prohibit foreign firms from offering services.
And yet IBKR LLC (US entity) is willing/able to take on customers resident in a number of countries in which IBKR does not have any local or even regional operations, while Schwab refuses for those same exact countries. If it were really a matter of regulation/legality I don't see why it would be different for one vs the other. Given how rigorous IBKR is on compliance and know-your-customer (KYC) issues (and they are) I highly doubt they'd be doing it if it were illegal, so I'm not convinced that Schwab's (and many other financial institutions) stance is in fact based on any actual legal/regulatory prohibition, but it's a business policy/decision.
Or rather I suspect that Schwab has just decided the KYC burdens required for them to safely take customers from those countries (esp. in terms of anti-money laundering (AML) rules) just aren't worth the bother to them, while IBKR has decided for them that they are.... and for many countries IBKR has positioned themselves into a fairly unique position as a result.
I have no inside knowledge, this is just a guess.... happy to be corrected.
Well I know for sure that Schwab couldn’t open accounts for me in a few places that IBKR can and it’s not due to KYC. I AM a Schwab international client now but due to industry regulation, they can’t open us another IRA for my wife or a futures account where we are. IBKR can.

IBKR has offices in the USA, Switzerland, Canada, Hong Kong, UK, Australia, Hungary, Russia, Japan, India, China, Luxembourg, Singapore, Ireland and Estonia. And they are regulated by various financial authorities as a broker/dealer in many places. That is the difference I believe.

I will also point out the not even IBKR will take non-US customers into their advisory services. It has nothing to do with KYC and everything to do with restrictions on where they have structured to be able to operate.
mitchel
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by mitchel »

typical.investor wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:10 am
occambogle wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 8:21 am
typical.investor wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:03 pm That's not Schwab's criteria. That is brokerage regulation. If countries prohibit opening accounts for their residents by foreign firms, Schwab can not. I've spoken to them about this.

IBKR is structured to have operations around the world, so are able to open accounts and offer services even in countries that prohibit foreign firms from offering services.
And yet IBKR LLC (US entity) is willing/able to take on customers resident in a number of countries in which IBKR does not have any local or even regional operations, while Schwab refuses for those same exact countries. If it were really a matter of regulation/legality I don't see why it would be different for one vs the other. Given how rigorous IBKR is on compliance and know-your-customer (KYC) issues (and they are) I highly doubt they'd be doing it if it were illegal, so I'm not convinced that Schwab's (and many other financial institutions) stance is in fact based on any actual legal/regulatory prohibition, but it's a business policy/decision.
Or rather I suspect that Schwab has just decided the KYC burdens required for them to safely take customers from those countries (esp. in terms of anti-money laundering (AML) rules) just aren't worth the bother to them, while IBKR has decided for them that they are.... and for many countries IBKR has positioned themselves into a fairly unique position as a result.
I have no inside knowledge, this is just a guess.... happy to be corrected.
Schwab couldn’t open accounts for me in a few places that IBKR can
whereas i had totally vice versa situation - having very non-welcomed citizenship, schwab did not mind to open (even after i pointed oout on that, they said - not an issue), but IBKR rejected
occambogle
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Re: any experience with these US bank accounts for [US] ex-pat living abroad

Post by occambogle »

typical.investor wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:10 am IBKR has offices in the USA, Switzerland, Canada, Hong Kong, UK, Australia, Hungary, Russia, Japan, India, China, Luxembourg, Singapore, Ireland and Estonia. And they are regulated by various financial authorities as a broker/dealer in many places. That is the difference I believe.
Sure, and for those countries with offices I can see why that would make a regulatory difference. I was talking about countries in which IBKR has no presence at all but will still take customers, including a lot of developing world countries, while Schwab won't. The reason I believe IBKR vs Schwab's willingness to take customers from many of those developing world countries is simply a business decision, not a legal one, is that the IBKR entity you end up with is not any of the offices you mention above, but rather the IB LLC US entity, which is presumably in the same legal and regulatory position as Schwab USA is. IBKR posts a long list of available countries:

https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/index.php?f=7021
typical.investor wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:10 am I will also point out the not even IBKR will take non-US customers into their advisory services. It has nothing to do with KYC and everything to do with restrictions on where they have structured to be able to operate.
That's true too, I myself looked into that once and agree for advisory services it's not a KYC issue.
mitchel wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:15 am whereas i had totally vice versa situation - having very non-welcomed citizenship, schwab did not mind to open (even after i pointed oout on that, they said - not an issue), but IBKR rejected
I've read a few reports of that happening on IBKR's sub-Reddit, I think including someone who was resident in the US but refused based on solely citizenship alone. That really sucks.....
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