A Word of Warning about International Banks

Recently I've read a lot about expats who have had their foreign bank accounts terminated at very short notice. The reason for this is to combat financial crime or money laundering and those who have had their accounts closed have their resident accounts back home as well as their expat accounts closed simultaneously as they are considered suspicious and a risk to the bank. Once those accounts are closed you many not be able to access your funds without extreme difficulty.

If you can remember, it was not so long ago that a few very large international banks were fined huge amounts of money, hundreds of millions of dollars, for doing nothing to prevent their customers from money laundering. Now some banks are very actively taking precautions and closing accounts of anyone they consider a risk or who cannot provide adequate documentation to explain their income. That would also include using a personal account for business transactions which actually is illegal.

The message is, if you are using a large international foreign bank, you should declare all your earnings either here or at home so that if required you can prove to your bank that your income is obtained legally. As far as I know, that isn't an issue with local banks.

HSBC is the bank I believe is being ultra careful about money laundering and has terminated it's services in strange circumstances.

There is another new legislation that Malaysia is joining whereby all account holders must decare their tax IDs in other countries. Without cooperating services will be frozen. It is the Common Reporting Standards (CRS) legislation.

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