I read on the Merrill Edge's traditional IRA application page:

Note: If your residence changes (e.g., you move to another country or spend most of your time outside of the United States), Merrill Edge will not be able to maintain your account. You will be required to close the account.

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Why do some institutions close IRA accounts when the account holder moves to another country or spends most of their time outside of the United States?

  • Do you have evidence that some institutions don't do this? (I'm in the UK and have no idea; hence the question). It might be a regulatory thing that all institutions must comply with. If not, and they've chosen to impose this condition, then it's presumably to save them the (perceived) hassle of communicating overseas. – TripeHound Jan 9 '18 at 9:09
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    @TripeHound, I take it back. Wells Fargo have just asked me to close my IRA, 12 years after I left the USA. – Rupert Morrish Jan 13 '18 at 20:57
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    @FranckDernoncourt They state it's because I'm normally resident overseas. They've always been aware of my location - this is a new policy on their part, as far as I can tell. – Rupert Morrish Jan 13 '18 at 22:27
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    @FranckDernoncourt See my question on the topic: money.stackexchange.com/questions/89425/… – Rupert Morrish Jan 13 '18 at 22:29
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    @FranckDernoncourt Personally, I fully agree the actual cost/hassle probably is negligible; however, bureaucracy being what it is, I can also see how a company might not want to bother... Postal costs: Most financial institutions (at least in the UK) won't send detailed info by email: traditionally this was done by post (although increasingly they may post it to an online portal). Legal issues: if anything ever has to be "formally served", there may be complications if the recipient is overseas. None of these is a real excuse, but I can see how a company might want to avoid "complications". – TripeHound Jan 15 '18 at 7:46

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