Expat income, banking, and flag theory

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BRUTE
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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by BRUTE » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:11 pm

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:19 pm
Who watches the watchmen?
other, competing watchmen

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:53 pm

@Seppia

That’s a fair question.

By your description and my definition the Japanese are more honest.

If they don’t like you, they are honest about it. :P

@brute

Can I FaceTime you? :roll:

jacob
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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by jacob » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:14 am

Seppia wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:40 pm
You can literally go to the bathroom and leave your $3000 MacBook Pro on an outdoor table at the cafe in the middle of a crowded place and it will be there when you come back (saw this happen, I was totally awe struck).
Petty theft carries a hefty sentence in Japan. Stealing a candy bar would get you 1-2 years in prison. That might explain it.

prognastat
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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by prognastat » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:31 am

And from what I understand presumption of innocence isn't really a big part of the justice system there...

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:55 am

And I would be afraid to take a job in Dubai because if you steal, they chop your hands off.

Not that I would steal anyway, but as an ethnic-European American would greatly fear arbitrary local law enforcement.

Jean
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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by Jean » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:44 pm

I you get raped in Dubai, you actually go to jail for adultery.

Seppia
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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by Seppia » Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:16 am

jacob wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:14 am
Petty theft carries a hefty sentence in Japan. Stealing a candy bar would get you 1-2 years in prison. That might explain it.
I would think there is a strong cultural element too, otherwise the death penalty would be a much bigger deterrent than what it is, and Norway should be the most crime-plagued country on earth (have you seen their prisons? they look like 3 star hotels).

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Ego
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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by Ego » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:28 am

Seppia wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:30 am
- Opening a bank account somewhere in Asia: my new job already brings me there often,I'd like to open in one of the safest countries, thinking about Singapore or HK.
@Seppia, has your thinking on opening an account changed with the recent unrest?

@Jacob, you mentioned in another thread working on an account in Denmark. Was this part of your strategy?

I saw this today and thought of you...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/opin ... n-law.html

Any concerns that you and DW do not share the same passport?

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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by jacob » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:18 am

@Ego - No, that was/is a legacy account that I opened when I was like 6 years old. However, FATCA reporting costs make it increasingly harder for small banks to deal with US persons, so the bank has been doing everything they can to get rid of me as a customer ... so I'm in the process of shutting it down. For flag theory, I'd rather go with a reputable international bank. Unfortunately, Denmark is too small for bigger international banks to do business directly (e.g. branch offices). Some of the [few] Danish banks that do do international business have been involved in various money laundering schemes in recent years, so I'm avoiding those too.

Yeah, I have plenty of concerns about the whole passport thing. The whole nationalism drive complicates things as the rules now change often (every couple of years) and randomly. There's no real good solution, but because many(*) people get caught up in these policy shenanigans, there are several known workarounds. For example, one can move to a border town in Germany or Sweden (and there are people in place who will help setting that up doing the paperwork, help in finding an apartment, etc.) for a while (I think 6 months) after which one can move to Denmark under the EU rules which aren't as ... randomly ill-conceived. Don't ask me how that works in detail---I just know it exists. One piece of good news was that the nationalist populist parties (there are three) got thoroughly trounced in the last election, where the party mentioned in the article (the biggest one) lost 57% of their seats in parliament.

(*) But not enough that politicians won't throw us under the bus in the name of populist measures ... then it takes a few years before "common decency" reverts the policy once the newspapers publish a few high-profile cases. Then they go again ... I figure the best approach is to "do nothing" (make no changes) rather than becoming a test case.

The Old Man
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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by The Old Man » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:09 pm

jacob wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:18 am
For flag theory, I'd rather go with a reputable international bank. Unfortunately, Denmark is too small for bigger international banks to do business directly (e.g. branch offices).
For what purpose do you need a reputable international bank?

For ATM purposes I use Charles Schwab plus Fidelity. For a credit card with Chip & PIN priority I use UNFCU and First Tech. Additionally, for international online transactions I also have TransferWise and PayPal. This is all feasible for a USA resident.

Sometimes even though I have a Chip & PIN priority credit card there are issues, but swiping is generally available. Occasionally, there are systems that are locked to national cards (debit or credit), but cash always works.

With the above setup, I've had very few issues despite not having a local bank.

Seppia
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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by Seppia » Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:08 am

@Ego
I should move to Asia end of Q1 next year, at that point I’ll for sure open an account in HK for practical reasons.
The recent unrest made me think of alternative plans on where to keep the bulk of my assets though.

For the interim, I added a Revolut account that I have now been testing for a while. I like its flexibility a lot but would not trust them with a lot of money either (I use it as a transit account).

ertyu
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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by ertyu » Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:47 am

Represent! Citizen of country A, currently working in Country B, cash invested in the US/EU stock market (Country 3)

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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by jacob » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:51 am

The Old Man wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:09 pm
For what purpose do you need a reputable international bank?
"Reputable" in the sense of the bank making it their business to deal with internationals. I can sort of understand why my local bank wants to ditch me. I'm likely one of just a handful of US persons they have as customers in total. I have zero loans with them... just a couple of accounts with money sitting there and the central bank charging them -0.75% for the pleasure. The FATCA reporting hassle surely comes with a few hours of work for them every year(*)(**). When I do a currency transfer, that little bank has to go through a couple of bigger banks to get to my US bank, IOW, as a customer I'm a net losing proposition to them.

(*) Why many smaller banks refuse to deal with Americans and US persons.
(**) It takes me about half an hour per year to find all the forms and numbers... so I presume it takes the same amount for them x the number of customers they have.

Whereas an international like HSBC, say, would already have all the systems in place for dealing with all the reporting, money transfers, etc. Also because they have a lot more international customers ... so they're much less likely to throw anyone under the bus lest they lose a big part of their business.

The Old Man
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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by The Old Man » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:02 am

jacob wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:51 am
...
Yes, but why do you need a local bank? Aside from using the ATM machine I have been inside a bank exactly once in 20+ years.

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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by jacob » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:25 am

I don't understand the question. I've had that [Danish] bank for 30+ years now. I don't need it. It's just how it was.

George the original one
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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by George the original one » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:05 pm

The Old Man wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:02 am
Yes, but why do you need a local bank? Aside from using the ATM machine I have been inside a bank exactly once in 20+ years.
When fraud is carried out (forged check, improper card charges, fake ATM stole your account), it's much easier at the bank to deal with someone that knows you.

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Bankai
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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by Bankai » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:15 pm

George the original one wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:05 pm
When fraud is carried out (forged check, improper card charges, fake ATM stole your account), it's much easier at the bank to deal with someone that knows you.
That was the case maybe two decades ago. Nowadays they just refer you to a contact centre to deal with it (there are no fraud advisors based in branches afaik - at least in the UK).

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Re: Expat income, banking, and flag theory

Post by The Old Man » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:06 pm

jacob wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:25 am
I don't understand the question.
I was wondering why you need/want a local bank. Modern day banking inclusive of the FinTech firms seems to make a local bank no longer necessary - perhaps desirable, but not necessary.

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