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Bank's & opening an account

Bank's & opening an account

Old Jul 26th 2016, 11:38 am
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Default Bank's & opening an account

Been knocked back from opening an account by 3 banks and a credit union in my first week. 2 places would not accept either my UK address, employer's address or my hotel address as meeting primary residency requirements. 2 other places would accept my hotel as a temp address to open the account - but would not proceed due to no social security number yet....

It's going to be 2 weeks minimum for the social security card to arrive (SS Office will not just tell me the number or print it out due to identity theft risk).

Did anyone have recent success in opening an account with a temporary address and no SS number? if so which bank please?

Either i'm being unlucky or some of the advice I've read about opening accounts and getting a SS# is no longer current
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Old Jul 26th 2016, 1:26 pm
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Default Re: Bank's & opening an account

Can you let us know where you are, that will let people with local knowledge reply.

Have you tried the big branches downtown or have you been to smaller suburban branches? There is no reason you should not be able to open an account and you can use a UK address, UK passport and do not need an SSN. I would try asking for a more senior person if you keep having issues.
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Old Jul 26th 2016, 1:32 pm
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Default Re: Bank's & opening an account

Originally Posted by boltonreddave View Post
Can you let us know where you are, that will let people with local knowledge reply.

Have you tried the big branches downtown or have you been to smaller suburban branches? There is no reason you should not be able to open an account and you can use a UK address, UK passport and do not need an SSN. I would try asking for a more senior person if you keep having issues.
I would be curious as to any bank that would open an account without either a SS or other TIN number ? There used to be an application that could be made for a TIN solely to open a bank account, but I would suspect if that SS# is only two weeks away better to wait for it.

On the other hand I cant understand why a hotel address doesn't work, I have never seen a bank be concerned about what the mailing address is. Perhaps in conversation with person opening account less information one discusses the better.
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Old Jul 26th 2016, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: Bank's & opening an account

Originally Posted by morpeth View Post
I would be curious as to any bank that would open an account without either a SS or other TIN number ? There used to be an application that could be made for a TIN solely to open a bank account, but I would suspect if that SS# is only two weeks away better to wait for it.

On the other hand I cant understand why a hotel address doesn't work, I have never seen a bank be concerned about what the mailing address is. Perhaps in conversation with person opening account less information one discusses the better.
We opened bank accounts 1 day after out arrival on L1/L2 and hadn't even applied for SSN's. We just gave that info later. The bank accepted a work address too. They was with PNC Bank in downtown Pittsburgh.
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Old Jul 26th 2016, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: Bank's & opening an account

Wells Fargo seems to work out for a lot of people in your scenario.

Rene
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Old Jul 26th 2016, 3:35 pm
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Default Re: Bank's & opening an account

Thanks for the replies, i'm near Albany NY.

If some folks did have success - I'll keep trying.

@Morpeth - All the banks wanted to see verification of the address - like a Utility bill or reservation from the hotel.
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Old Jul 26th 2016, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: Bank's & opening an account

You have Wells Fargo, Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, Capital One all in the Albany area. If they won't open an account without a social security number or a permanent address ask to speak with a manager. As long as it is not an interest bearing account, they should open one for you. As for showing proof of address that is bull. I just opened one here in MS and never was asked to show proof of address. At age 68, never once have I had to show proof of address to a bank.

Not going to research you but if you are here on a work visa, which bank does your company use? Open an account with that bank and have your check direct deposited. That should solve the problem quite nicely.

BTW social security stopped giving out your number to you either in person or over the phone several years ago. Be thankful as anyone previously could have called in and gotten your number for criminal reasons.

Where are you having the card mailed to?

Last edited by Rete; Jul 26th 2016 at 4:20 pm.
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Old Jul 26th 2016, 4:26 pm
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Default Re: Bank's & opening an account

Originally Posted by morpeth View Post
I would be curious as to any bank that would open an account without either a SS or other TIN number ? There used to be an application that could be made for a TIN solely to open a bank account, but I would suspect if that SS# is only two weeks away better to wait for it.

On the other hand I cant understand why a hotel address doesn't work, I have never seen a bank be concerned about what the mailing address is. Perhaps in conversation with person opening account less information one discusses the better.
A SSN is only required for an interest-earning account, however a verifiable address is required under the USA PATRIOT Act, and I would be surprised if most banks would accept a hotel address as it is very obviously only a transitory address, whereas an employer's address is hopefully longer term address despite not being a residential address.

The requirement, per the USA PATRIOT Act, is for new customers to provide evidence of four pieces of indentifying information: your name, addess, date of birth, and a "government issused ID number". A passport provides three of these sufficient to meet the USA PATRIOT Act requirements, the exception being the mailing address.

If the bank employee baulks at opening an account without a SSN ask to speak to the supervisor or manager, ..... and if they also refuse tell them that "the USA PATRIOT Act only requires a government issued ID number, not an SSN specifically". If they still baulk, go to a different bank.

If the government issued ID number isn't a SSN or TIN then you will be confined to opening a non-interest-earning account.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 26th 2016 at 4:29 pm.
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Old Jul 26th 2016, 6:15 pm
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Default Re: Bank's & opening an account

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
You have Wells Fargo, Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, Capital One all in the Albany area. If they won't open an account without a social security number or a permanent address ask to speak with a manager. As long as it is not an interest bearing account, they should open one for you. As for showing proof of address that is bull. I just opened one here in MS and never was asked to show proof of address. At age 68, never once have I had to show proof of address to a bank.

Not going to research you but if you are here on a work visa, which bank does your company use? Open an account with that bank and have your check direct deposited. That should solve the problem quite nicely.

BTW social security stopped giving out your number to you either in person or over the phone several years ago. Be thankful as anyone previously could have called in and gotten your number for criminal reasons.

Where are you having the card mailed to?
Already tried my companies bank - including a call into our business's main contact person - they will help me with a mortgage once I have an account – but they need a SS# for both…

Sounds like my broader issue could be using smaller branch's rather than a main city branch (no manager in in obvious attendance) – the people I worked with ended up phoning a central info point for guidance on the SS# question - computer said no...

Maybe I've also been too open with sharing info about just arriving in country - but I was always asked for verified proof of address.

I understand the security issue with SS numbers - but as I'm there in person with multiple forms of picture ID - I figured it was a pretty identity secure situation – anyway they are mailing the card to my employers address.
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Old Jul 26th 2016, 6:20 pm
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Default Re: Bank's & opening an account

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
A SSN is only required for an interest-earning account, however a verifiable address is required under the USA PATRIOT Act, and I would be surprised if most banks would accept a hotel address as it is very obviously only a transitory address, whereas an employer's address is hopefully longer term address despite not being a residential address.

The requirement, per the USA PATRIOT Act, is for new customers to provide evidence of four pieces of indentifying information: your name, addess, date of birth, and a "government issused ID number". A passport provides three of these sufficient to meet the USA PATRIOT Act requirements, the exception being the mailing address.

If the bank employee baulks at opening an account without a SSN ask to speak to the supervisor or manager, ..... and if they also refuse tell them that "the USA PATRIOT Act only requires a government issued ID number, not an SSN specifically". If they still baulk, go to a different bank.

If the government issued ID number isn't a SSN or TIN then you will be confined to opening a non-interest-earning account.
Makes sense, will try again at a large branch of an International bank – thanks to all for the replies.
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Old Jul 26th 2016, 7:03 pm
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Default Re: Bank's & opening an account

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
A SSN is only required for an interest-earning account, however a verifiable address is required under the USA PATRIOT Act, and I would be surprised if most banks would accept a hotel address as it is very obviously only a transitory address, whereas an employer's address is hopefully longer term address despite not being a residential address.

The requirement, per the USA PATRIOT Act, is for new customers to provide evidence of four pieces of indentifying information: your name, addess, date of birth, and a "government issused ID number". A passport provides three of these sufficient to meet the USA PATRIOT Act requirements, the exception being the mailing address.

If the bank employee baulks at opening an account without a SSN ask to speak to the supervisor or manager, ..... and if they also refuse tell them that "the USA PATRIOT Act only requires a government issued ID number, not an SSN specifically". If they still baulk, go to a different bank.

If the government issued ID number isn't a SSN or TIN then you will be confined to opening a non-interest-earning account.
I guess it may depend where one lives or which bank. I have lived in three states and none of banks that I have dealt with seemed to care less what the address was, and all asked or SS or TIN number, though in rural areas sometimes they would open on condition it would be supplied shortly.

In several of the banks when a passport shown, they would ask if they could see driver's license or ID card, but would accept the passport as id.
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Old Jul 26th 2016, 7:09 pm
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Default Re: Bank's & opening an account

Originally Posted by morpeth View Post
I guess it may depend where one lives or which bank. ....
It shouldn't make any difference whatsoever, the USA PATRIOT Act is a federal law, and banks have been fined big bucks for not following it. The problem the OP faces, along with other immigrants, is that the rules are often applied too restrictively, e.g. an SSN is "required" when the law says no such thing. That's not to say that the bank has a more restrictive policy but that their staff are trained, and computer systems are designed for the 99% of new customers that have an SSN, not the 1% of exceptions.

When was the last time you moved to another state and opened a new bank account? The USA PATRIOT Act has been "live" since 2003, but it took a few years for banks to get used to exactly what was required and that the regulators would empty their P&L account, or force them into a merger, if they didn't shape up.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 26th 2016 at 7:12 pm.
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Old Jul 26th 2016, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: Bank's & opening an account

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
It shouldn't make any difference whatsoever, the USA PATRIOT Act is a federal law, and banks have been fined big bucks for not following it. The problem the OP faces, along with other immigrants, is that the rules are often applied too restrictively, e.g. an SSN is "required" when the law says no such thing. That's not to say that the bank has a more restrictive policy but that their staff are trained, and computer systems are designed for the 99% of new customers that have an SSN, not the 1% of exceptions.

When was the last time you moved to another state and opened a new bank account? The USA PATRIOT Act has been "live" since 2003, but it took a few years for banks to get used to exactly what was required and that the regulators would empty their P&L account, or force them into a merger, if they didn't shape up.
All three states after 2003, in two helping foreigners settle in. As you well point out their systems are for the 99% and staff don't necessarily have the proper training.
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 7:09 pm
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Default Re: Bank's & opening an account

Originally Posted by morpeth View Post
I would be curious as to any bank that would open an account without either a SS or other TIN number
I'd be "curious" (disappointed) at any bank that would NOT open an account without an SS or ITIN, since it's absolutely not a requirement (albeit most bank staff either don't know this or have been misinformed or have a lack of training) as Pulaski correctly stated.

The only requirement that the government impose on opening a US based bank account from a security point of view, is that the person be identified absolutely by their documentation. A British passport does that job more than adequately.

I opened an account with Firth Third Bank just a few days after arriving in the US and with no SSN, just using my British passport. As I was living with relatives I had no proof of address (no bills in my name or rental agreement etc) and it wasn't an issue.

Last edited by BritishGuy36; Jul 28th 2016 at 7:14 pm.
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: Bank's & opening an account

Originally Posted by BritishGuy36 View Post
I'd be "curious" (disappointed) at any bank that would NOT open an account without an SS or ITIN, since it's absolutely not a requirement (albeit most bank staff either don't know this or have been misinformed or have a lack of training) as Pulaski correctly stated.

The only requirement that the government impose on opening a US based bank account from a security point of view, is that the person be identified absolutely by their documentation. A British passport does that job more than adequately.

I opened an account with Firth Third Bank just a few days after arriving in the US and with no SSN, just using my British passport. As I was living with relatives I had no proof of address (no bills in my name or rental agreement etc) and it wasn't an issue.
I quite agree proof of residence I haven't come across, but I have come across banks that required a SSN or TIN, by coincidence one of which was a Fifth Third Bank in Ohio, but since you opened account without one guess it depends on branch.

As an aside many banks in US don't have a Swift code, or even a correspondent bank for international transactions.
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