Singapore ~ This is a great example of ‘sovereign risk’: One of my close friends here in Singapore opened a brokerage account last year with Interactive Brokers. If you’re not familiar, Interactive Brokers is a leading securities broker based in Greenwich, Connecticut. You can trade stocks, currencies, options… all that stuff.
Now, my friend is not a US resident (he lives here in Singapore), nor is he a US citizen.
He opened his account through their Asian branch in Hong Kong, funded the account from here in Singapore, and then bought some Canadian stocks listed on the Toronto stock exchange.
Nothing about his investments had anything to do with the United States. So you could imagine his surprise when he received a recent email from Interactive Brokers informing him that his account was about to be “escheated to the state”.
Yeah, I had to look it up too.
It turns out that if you don’t have a specific amount of “qualifying activity” then your account is considered dormant and will be turned over to the state. Continue reading