The US empire is like a mountain climber on a verge of loosing his grip.

Going to the American Embassy in Bern performs a head-high gate, the security check and down in a dark room. It ends on a hard chair along the wall joins the ranks of his peers.

Compared with embassy staff to work behind bulletproof glass, tell visitors that were there. Deprecating glances reaped these people from their counterparts when they said. “I renounce my citizenship” Then they swore to his own free will at the embassy, ​​and pushed her blue U.S. passport under the bulletproof glass through.

It’s so easy to take off as American foreign citizenship. More and more U.S. citizens resort to this drastic step. In the first three months of this year, according to the U.S. IRS 679 Americans have given their passport. In the first quarter there were 461

Many Americans in Switzerland give off their U.S. passport

Among them were many Americans in Switzerland, it is from sources close to the embassy. You want to rest before the U.S. tax authority, which stops short on the hunt for tax evaders before any citizens abroad. Because the personal consequences because of the tax war between the United States and Switzerland have adopted this country bizarre trains for the lives of many expats.

So reports about an American business consultant in Zurich that he was asked in advising a financial institution to leave the building because the bankers were afraid that he was a spy for the U.S. Justice Department.

“I have submitted my passport because I can not afford to be professionally restricted,” says the man, who wishes to remain anonymous. His boss had not forced him to leave his citizenship, but “strongly encouraged” him.

U.S. citizens are in Switzerland undesirables

Also for other stakeholders was their origin to the corral. As a manager in the food industry has lost his job last year. While he had no evidence, but stand firm for him, blame was his American passport – and the new tax law FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), the equivalent to the automatic exchange of information and come into force from 2014.

“So I am now undesirable and far less competitive,” he says. Mid-1990s he moved to Switzerland, married a Swiss woman and started a family. He still has not found a new job.

Also, the FBAR regulation (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) make sure that many local companies wanted no more Americans says Anne Hornung-Soukup, director of finance for the organization American Citizens Abroad in Geneva.

With this control U.S. citizens must disclose all foreign accounts with more than $ 10,000 and all foreign bank accounts for which they are authorized to sign. This rule leads to absurd situations.

Treasurer of the Geneva Church must leave office

As signatories of American Citizens Abroad Hornung-Soukup must specify the accounts of the organization. However, many companies shy away from. Hornung-Soukup reported by the treasurer of Geneva Church, which therefore had to give up his office.

And financial affairs to drive many Americans abroad for some time. With the fear of the IRS in the neck are “we for most banks to become persona non grata,” says Amy Webster.

She lives for 30 years in Romandie, is married to a Swiss. Your case has made 2012 public, when the then Zweiplus the couple asked to close their account, including funds and a mortgage loan for their house.

UBS cautious about U.S. citizens

The funds they had to sell at a loss to find a new bank to refinance the mortgage. Only thanks to the long-standing relationship her husband to come with UBS they are there. But without her husband wanted the wholesale bank, the American recently no longer operate.

To an inquiry for a new mortgage on their home in Morges it said: “Unfortunately we can not make an offer because of your U.S. citizenship.” Webster feels deprived of their freedom, all banking matters now run over her husband

“I have studied, worked and was always financially independent.” You are seriously considering to give up her U.S. passport. Long they had been proud of their origin, have always their American tax return completed. Now they experienced only contempt for it.

Banks put pressure on U.S. citizens

Even the unemployed managers in the food industry has recently received from his bank post – he had 30 days to agree to the disclosure of his bank account details or to close his account. “I have no other choice than to fill out the form,” he says. How else should he pay his bills? Many had not even this possibility, they were forced by the banks to close.

So it was with Anne Hornung-Soukup last summer. Your bank then informed her that she could carry no more account in the bank account of their origin. In their protest back it said, from a million francs or dollars they could keep the deposit account. “Either you have that million, or you’re out.”

Switzerland is still open for millionaires from the USA

Better-heeled Americans do not seem to experience the same hardness. An investor who lives in Zurich for years, tells of a Swiss private bank that would receive him with open arms. Nevertheless, he had tired of spending every year several thousand francs for his tax advisor. Should he give up his passport, he fears for business and pleasure no longer be able to travel freely to the United States.

That more and more Americans abroad, the state is unsustainable, shows the high number of those who make the transition to Bern. According to estimates of the American Community 700 to 900 U.S. citizens in Switzerland have submitted their passports last year.

The Embassy in Berne will not comment this number. The management consultant from Zurich is certainly happy to have handed over the blue pass. He is convinced that many of his former compatriots will follow him into the catacombs of the message.

18,000 Americans working in Switzerland

Although the U.S. Treasury makes life difficult in Switzerland, many U.S. citizens can still down here. Lived 20 years ago, about 10,000 Americans in Switzerland, so in 2012 there were about 18,000.

Almost all are here because of work, and many stay because of love. The 16,000 Americans living in Switzerland are employed, according to official estimates. 3000 are married to a Swiss or Swiss.

Are particularly in demand jobs in banks, consulting and pharmaceutical

Are particularly in demand for workers from the United States in the financial industry, in consulting or in the pharmaceutical industry. As found by the 1091 U.S. citizens who newly arrived in Switzerland last year to work, 356 banks, insurance companies and in advising a job.

Even U.S. companies are settling here. By the employees in Switzerland ten largest American companies together employ nearly 29,000 employees. At the top is McDonald’s with an estimated 6800 employees.

At IBM , Johnson & Johnson , Philip Morris International and Procter & Gamble are working each over 3000 employees. Synthes and Hewlett-Packard are 2900 and 2140 workers.

Also among the top 10 U.S. employers include Mettler-Toledo International Mondelez 1450 (estimate) and 1350 employees.

The article has been published under the title ” American Citizens: origin as an obstacle “to” Handelszeitung.ch “from Zurich.