Enacted in response to the surprising revelation of the extent to which U.S. taxpayers had been using accounts at Swiss banks to hide assets from the IRS, FATCA significantly increases the reporting responsibilities for both financial institutions and U.S. individuals and entities associated with non-U.S. assets. Read more about FATCA (PDF).
The CRS is referred to as “GATCA," the global equivalent of FATCA, although its reporting requirements are broader in scope. Over 100 countries have signed up for the CRS, but the U.S. has not adopted it. This has led to controversy and accusations that its failure to join has ironically made the U.S. the largest tax haven in the world. Read more about the CRS (PDF).
There has been a growing trend to establish central databases of true owners, who are defined as those who own or control the entity through direct or indirect ownership of a sufficient percentage of shares or voting rights. Controversy continues over whether such databases should be available to the public, and whether trusts should be included in these registries.
FATCA sparked resentment and pushback from foreign countries, financial institutions and individuals. The CRS hasn't provoked such resistance, perhaps because by the time reporting started in 2017, this global trend for information exchange was already too far along to stop. Although controversy regarding beneficial ownership registries remains, regions have taken action toward establishing these databases, with varying levels of enforcement and success.
Banks must go to great lengths to identify and verify the sources of wealth and proof of identity for any individuals looking to open accounts. These practices make it difficult — if not impossible — for certain individuals to open accounts or have access to financial services in certain areas. In addition, privacy and data security are major concerns for those affected.
1Offshore Perceptions, STEP Research Report, STEP 2016. STEP is a global association of professional advisors specializing in cross-border wealth planning.
This document is confidential and may not be copied, reproduced or distributed, in whole or in part, to others at any time without the prior written consent of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, its subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively, “BNY Mellon"). The material contained herein is not intended for distribution to, or to be used by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country in which distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation. Except as otherwise permitted herein, distribution of this material to any person other than the person to whom this was originally delivered and to such person's advisors is unauthorized and any reproduction, in whole or in part, or the divulgence of its contents, without the prior consent of BNY Mellon in each such instance is prohibited.This material is provided for illustrative/educational purposes only. This material is not intended to constitute legal, tax, investment or financial advice. Effort has been made to ensure that the material presented herein is accurate at the time of publication. However, this material is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of the law in any area or of all of the tax, investment or financial options available. The information discussed herein may not be applicable to or appropriate for every investor and should be used only after consultation with professionals who have reviewed your specific situation.The Bank of New York Mellon, Hong Kong branch is an authorized institution within the meaning of the Banking Ordinance (Cap.155 of the Laws of Hong Kong) and a registered institution (CE No. AIG365) under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap.571 of the Laws of Hong Kong) carrying on Type 1 (dealing in securities), Type 4 (advising on securities) and Type 9 (asset management) regulated activities.The Bank of New York Mellon, DIFC Branch (the “Authorised Firm") is communicating these materials on behalf of The Bank of New York Mellon. The Bank of New York Mellon is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. This material is intended for Professional Clients only and no other person should act upon it. The Authorised Firm is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority and is located at Dubai International Financial Centre, The Exchange Building 5 North, Level 6, Room 601, P.O. Box 506723, Dubai, UAE.The Bank of New York Mellon is supervised and regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Federal Reserve and authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority. The Bank of New York Mellon London Branch is subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request. The Bank of New York Mellon is incorporated with limited liability in the State of New York, USA. Head Office: One Wall Street, New York, NY 10286, USA.In the U.K. a number of the services associated with BNY Mellon Wealth Management's Family Office Services– International are provided through The Bank of New York Mellon, London Branch, 160 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4LA. The London Branch is registered in England and Wales with FC No. 005522 and #BR000818.Investment management services are offered through BNY Mellon Investment Management EMEA Limited, BNY Mellon Centre, 160 Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4LA, which is registered in England No. 1118580 and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Offshore trust and administration services are through BNY Mellon Trust Company (Cayman) Ltd.This document is issued in the U.K. by The Bank of New York Mellon. In the United States the information provided within this document is for use by professional investors. This material is a financial promotion in the UK and EMEA. This material, and the statements contained herein, are not an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any products (including financial products) or services or to participate in any particular strategy mentioned and should not be construed as such. BNY Mellon Fund Services (Ireland) Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland BNY Mellon Investment Servicing (International) Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Advisory Services, Inc. is registered as a portfolio manager and exempt market dealer in each province of Canada, and is registered as an investment fund manager in Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland & Labrador. Its principal regulator is the Ontario Securities Commission and is subject to Canadian and provincial laws. BNY Mellon, National Association is not licensed to conduct investment business by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (the “BMA") and the BMA does not accept responsibility for the accuracy or correctness of any of the statements made or advice expressed herein. BNY Mellon is not licensed to conduct investment business by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (the “BMA") and the BMA does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy or correctness of any of the statements made or advice expressed herein. Trademarks and logos belong to their respective owners. BNY Mellon Wealth Management conducts business through various operating subsidiaries of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation.©2017 The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. All rights reserved.