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Lloyds Banking Group is ditching American customers based in Britain pending a crackdown on international tax evasion planned by President Barack Obama.
This week American private client account-holders at Lloyds's received letters informing them of an "important change in policy regarding clients who are resident, domiciled or linked to the United States by property or asset holdings". They were told the bank had "no choice" but to "cease acting as your investment manager."
The proposals, which were unveiled in the President's first budget, have been designed to clamp down on American tax evaders abroad. But bank bosses say that in practice they could be asked to take on the task of collecting American taxes at a cost and legal liability that make servicing the clients inexpedient. The rules have not yet been finalised and are still subject to debate in Congress.
A source said: "Until the new rules are properly explained, we don't know how expensive they will be to implement. But it's clear that Lloyds believes that any extra cost to the system will be too much when it comes to the mass affluent."
The letters also contained four comprehensive descriptions of the bank's definition of clients that are affected. These included clients that hold green cards, pay American taxes, are American domiciled or even those where there is "any indication" that a client spent more time in the US than "normal holidays currently or in the past or future."
Last edited by NEPatriot; 06-16-2009 at 01:30 PM..
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