We have recently encountered an issue where we are being told that we need to be inquiring as to a person’s residency status in order to make sure W8 BEN forms are being completed. If I have a loan situation where monitoring information cannot be collected, is it an issue to ask this information? It has been recommended that we ask “Is the US your tax home?” I don’t think we’ve ever had a non resident to request a mortgage loan, but we are being told that we should add this to our checklists to ask every customer.
I don’t believe anyone could construe that by asking the question you propose you are asking for monitoring information. For one thing, the answers provided will not automatically equate to someone being a specific race or ethnicity. Also, Regulation B, section 1002.5(e) allows you to ask about permanent residency or immigration status in connection with a transaction.
Other bankers I talk to say they ask similar question as part of identifying their customers.