Multi Currency Banking Concerns II

by | Apr 22, 2008 | Archives

Thank all of you who provided so much input on a growing global banking problem we reviewed in yesterday’s message.

Those who missed yesterday’s message can read it at

One reader felt this was an Ecuador problem and wrote:

“Hi Gary,  I’m a US Citizen living permanently in Quito and just last week I deposited a check (over 2K) and was handed a form to fill out where I state where the money came from and what it was for.  I was very surprised.  It seems this applies to any transaction over 2K, in or out of the account, and it appears to have nothing to do with the USA, even though the check was from the USA.  I’m not sure but this looks like the doing of Correa’s administration. I enjoy your mailings.”

This reader has a point but, every country seems to have its own internal banking concerns.  Yet this problem goes beyond Ecuador or any one country.

Another reader shared a similar problem trying to pay money to the Dominican Republic and wrote:

“Hello Gary,  Just a quick note on your bank wire transfer post….I too ran into this problem recently, and also outside US banks (Europe to Dominican Republic).  Like you I was shocked, and annoyed.  My bank here also requested a letter from the sending bank, and when I said ‘Just send it back,’ they actually seemed relieved.  (BTW, both accounts are declared – I was just angry, frankly, and no longer had immediate need.)  Clearly this is a recent US-initiative, and is not a welcome demand by foreign banks.  FWIW, I learned that the amount that triggers the demand for correspondence is $30,000.

“As you were wiring US dollars (as I was) I wonder if a euro-denominated transfer to a euro account made entirely outside of the US system would trigger the same result?

“Since the reporting is triggered by amounts in excess of $30,000, I wonder too if an individual wanting a $50,000 transfer were to split the transaction into 2 wires would then be liable to charges of laundering?    And you are 100% correct – these insane rules are killing commerce!

“I hope you and Merri are well.  I continue to enjoy reading your reports on Ecuador, and hope to get back to El Meson sometime in the coming year just to see all the changes and upgrades you two have surely made, and maybe to see your new beach project.  Those were some spectacular photos you posted from your last day in the village before returning to the States! All the best,”

I have not been able to confirm this reader’s suggestion that a $30,000 amount  triggers a problem.  I do agree that trying to beat the system by sending smaller amounts may create even more problems.

However I suspect that the message below from a long time friend and attorney Leslie Share hits the real problem.  Leslie has specialized in international business law for decades and shows that this is a global problem created by excessive legislation, confusion and fear.

“Gary–as usual, you are right on with this warning. This is the biggest problem our clients are having all over the world right now. The banking system is slowly grinding to a halt, because even when you supply a bank with more than the requested due diligence information and proof that the client’s funds are 100% legitimate, too many times banks refuse to handle or won’t release funds out of a fear of being nailed for participating in money laundering. Transactions which should take a week to complete are now taking a month or more. We’ve been able to help somewhat with creativity and cajoling, but sometimes the mountain just won’t move. Hopefully we can see you and Merri sometime in Ecuador. Best regards. Les Share”

Anyone who needs a good attorney for international business can reach Leslie at

The execution of law in the end depends on the people enforcing it.  You can do everything right and if you get the wrong person, you’ll have a problem.  You can get everything wrong and if you get the right person, everything will sail smoothly through.

This is how banking seems to be shaping up.  Each time you want to send someone money, there will be a bit more roll of the dice.

Be prepared for this.

We’ll be working hard to figure out how to make global banking easier for you!


Join me with Thomas Fischer to learn more about International Banking and multi currency investing. May 23-25 International Investing & Business Made EZ North Carolina

We’ll have delegates to this course join us for dinner at the farm. Here is our creekside deck where we usually dine….


on wonderful treats that Merri prepares like this Feta roasted red peppers  on buckwheat pasta.