Sending bank customer info to U.S. avoided potentially ‘catastrophic effects’: Canada News Staff

OTTAWA — The federal government is telling an appeal court it had to provide U.S. authorities with customer information from Canadian banks to avoid possibly “catastrophic effects” on Canada’s economy.

The U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, known as FATCA, requires banks and other institutions in countries outside the United States to report information about accounts held by U.S. individuals, including Canadians with dual citizenship.

Among the information from Canada being shared with the U.S. are the names and addresses of account holders, account numbers, account balances, and details such as interest, dividends and other income.

In a newly filed submission to the Federal Court of Appeal, the Canadian government says failure to comply would have had serious effects on Canada’s financial sector, its customers and the broader economy.

Two U.S.-born women who now live in Canada, Gwendolyn Louise Deegan and Kazia Highton, challenged the constitutionality of Canadian provisions implementing the 2014 agreement between the countries that makes the information-sharing possible.

The two unsuccessfully argued in Federal Court that the provisions breach the Charter of Rights guarantee preventing unreasonable seizure, and they now want the Court of Appeal to overturn the ruling.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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