Wire transfers from the US

I just did a wire transfer from my US bank to JEP and thought I’d share with the community the fun new procedures that now exist (thanks to the US government’s updated anti-money-laundering procedures).

When I did a wire transfer two and a half years ago, I had to do none of what is listed below for a smaller wire transfer than what I did this past week.

JEP will now ask you to identify the source of the funds, and to provide documentation that supports that source. In addition to six months’ worth of bank statements from the account where the money is coming from, there are additional requirements:

If the money is from the sale of real estate, you must provide an escrow closing statement, for example; if savings from your job while you were working, the name of the employer, your job title, the time period that you were an employee, and a pay stub. If it’s from retirement funds, they want to know likewise where you worked. If it’s from an inheritance, the name of the deceased person and relationship, lottery winnings the date and state of the lottery, etc. You get the idea.

The real nasty kicker is that if the wire transfer is for $100,000 or higher, the documents must be notarized and apostilled. Note that apostilling is to authenticate government-issued documents and none of the above would be government-issued; the apostille would only be authenticating the notary public’s seal and commission, but it certainly creates a giant headache for those of us needing to transfer funds of $100,000 or over to purchase real estate.

None of this is JEP’s fault, nor is it Ecuador’s fault, it’s the US Treasury Department and FinCen etc. who are driving all this paperwork.

I additionally ran into a problem with the US bank that I had used 2.5 years ago with no problems that was befuddled by the fact that JEP is now using Banco de Pinchincha as their intermediary correspondent bank for US wire transfers (used to be Banco del Pacifico).

This involves Banco de Pinchincha’s Miami US branch for the international wire. This fact seemed to short-circuit the brain of my bank, which couldn’t get its head around an international wire going to a US branch of a foreign intermediary correspondent bank, no matter how many times I explained it to them. From my US bank’s perspective, this is actually a lot less risky for them because the wire is going to a US branch of a foreign bank under full US banking supervision. But no, they couldn’t deal with that.

I had to go to Plan B and use my other bank to do the wire, with zero drama.

Ann Fourt: annfourt@gmail.com .

City: Cuenca

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