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RBC Executive Shares Memories of Transition to the U.S.
Everyone has a story of what took them to the US or other countries. Whether it was to attend University or work overseas, moving and living in another country can have its challenges. Certainly, there may be stress missing family and friends, but also the stress of adapting to the rules and laws of another country. While immigration and healthcare often come to mind as an expat challenge, one of the first issues to address is banking. I recently spoke to Alain Forget, VP of RBC Cross Border Banking about his experiences transitioning to the US.
"I had worked for RBC Wealth Management in the Caribbean for 5 years and had an opportunity to come back to the mainland in 2000. I was looking to live someplace warm, so I chose Miami, Florida. This was before RBC had retail banking outlets in the US. Like many expats, I had to go through the process of obtaining a social security card, work visa and getting set up in Florida," Forget states.
"In addition to all of that, we wanted to purchase a house. The challenge was I didn't have an existing credit history in the US, so I in order to obtain a mortgage, I had to pay an extra 1.5% foreign national premium. We knew how important it was to build a good credit history and were very careful to make sure we paid all of our bills on time. Well, like we would have in Canada, we gave the lending institution 6 post-dated cheques. What we didn't realize is that they would cash them all at the same time! What a shock!"
"This credit history issue was also posed challenges in getting a loan for a car. After being in Florida for a year, we had built up our credit history and eventually renegotiated our mortgage at a more favourable rate however this process is cumbersome and costly due to the closing costs," Forget shares.
RBC's retail banking entered the US in 2003 which now help Canadians in the US with these types of cross border banking issues and is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year. While part of the operations was sold to PNC bank in 2011, RBC Bank continues to offer cross border banking services to Canadians in all 50 states including Alaska.
"I've experienced the challenges of moving to a new country and I'm pleased that RBC has been able to help other Canadians reduce their frustrations by having cross border financial banking solutions and cross border financial advice. I wish they were available when I came to the US."
"I certainly learned the hard way and this is why I know how RBC Bank can make the banking and financial transition of any Canadians moving to the U.S. an educated and seamless experience as well as to helping any Canadian Expats living in the U.S. to stay financially connected with Canada." To learn more about the RBC cross border solutions you can visit www.rbcbank.com .
(Note: RBC will be one of the sponsors for the CanSouth Canada Day event in Raleigh that will include Curling and public skating at the Ice Factory.)