#Sweden one-up’s USA’s #FATCA & #FBAR: Assumes all of its #Expatriates to be Corrupt

Whereas US FATCA program assumes all of USA’s expats are tax cheats, Sweden does one better and considers all of its expats as being corrupt.  In both systems, the accused must prove himself innocent because otherwise he is assumed guilty.

The US FATCA system requires the world’s banks to police expatriate US citizens, by demanding their bank account balances, Social Security numbers, and addresses and personal information. The Swedish system requires Swedish banks to inquire and store data upon the political status of its expatriates. It doesn’t stop there-it requires the same status upon the relatives of the account holder.  And, same as FATCA, if the account holder doesn’t comply the account is to be frozen by the bank.

Although this documentation is demanded by the Swedish government, the bank association “assures” the bank customers that the bank holds the information confidential. Right–why does a bank perform police investigations—is the bank then going to prosecute those that can’t prove they aren’t corrupt?—Well, maybe not, but it will freeze the account and stop the usage of most of the functions in the bank account.  Freezing bank account functions as a threat to force private-information disclosure is as close as one could get to deputizing a financial institution with unconstitutional police powers.  I wonder if that old grundlag is really worth anything at all?

Sweden has followed the US’ lead, in deputizing the world’s banks to police over the citizenry.

The worst possible combination for a Swedish citizen could be that the Swedish citizen is an expatriate located in USA.  In this case, the person is assumed both a tax evader and corrupt.  This became evident in a recent story upon Swedish TV, where a man received a series of questions asking the origin of the money in his account, if he was a US person, and the whole series of questions about the political activities of himself and his relatives.

Apparently, the bank (Nordea) had combined a form which assumes that anyone suspected of a US person must prove himself as not being a tax evader, together with the assumption that any Swede living outside Sweden is corrupt.

With a population of only 9 million—Sweden could be on its way to have a more intrusive government than its big brother USA.





Rought translation: If you live abroad

If you live abroad, special rules apply. Your bank needs to know if you have a high political post or high post in the state, a so-called politically exposed persons, or if you are a close relative or a known associate of such a person. These stringent regulations are aimed primarily at combating corruption.

With a high political post or high post in the State referred
Heads of State or government, ministers and deputy or assistant ministers;
Members of Parliament,
Judges of the Supreme Court, judges of constitutional courts or other similar judicial bodies at the high level,
senior audit of the boards of central banks;
ambassadors, diplomatic envoys and high-ranking officers in the armed husband, and
persons who are included in the state-owned company’s management bodies

With close relative meaning
wife / husband,
partners who by law is equated with wife / husband,
children and their spouses or partners, and parents

The information the Bank receives about you is treated as confidential and subject to banking secrecy and the Personal Data Act

SVT story upon FATCA arriving in Sweden


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