Taking Stock: Kent church bell-ringers face FATCA form for new bank account

TS IS NO STRANGER to hyperbole and overkill, but news of a small group of church bell ringers in Kent becoming encumbered with the intricacies of the US’s FATCA deal with the UK very much takes the biscuit.

In an event that can only be described as ‘disproportionate’, Neil Campbell and his group of bell ringers at a church in Chartham, Kent, have had to go to incredible lengths to open a bank account for the group, the Telegraph reports.

Campbell looked to open a ‘community direct plus’ account with the Co-operative Bank. He filled in the 18-page application form, and despite being bewildered by some of the questions, which included “Are you involved in the nuclear power industry?”.

Oddly, because Campbell had ticked the “no” box when asked “Does your business generate more than 50% of its income from the creation/sale of goods and/or services?” he was told he must also fill out a FATCA form.

FATCA requires financial institutions to review customers’ tax residency details or face a 30% penalty on their US operations, but it is not clear why Campbell and his colleagues were subject to the checks.

Co-operative Bank said: “Like all banks, we have increased the checks we need to do when customers apply for an account. This is because the bank must comply with UK financial sanctions requirements and money laundering regulations.”


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