What are FATCA Classification requirements?

FATCA requirements regarding classification are set out in sections 1471 through 1474 of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and regulations made thereunder and in the Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) negotiated between individual jurisdictions and the US.

A key part of being FATCA compliant is the requirement for HSBC to hold FATCA classification information and documentation on its customers and counterparties, including financial institutions as well as corporates and funds. It is therefore important to be in a position to provide this information when requested by HSBC. HSBC requires all new entity clients and counterparties to provide us with evidence of their FATCA classification, including a Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN) where applicable.

HSBC Request for Client GIINs

HSBC may reach out via SWIFT to our financial services clients and counterparties (including funds) that have registered with the IRS seeking the following information:

  • The Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN) for the legal entity(s) with which you do business with HSBC
  • The legal entity name(s) to which the GIIN(s) apply
  • Legal Entity Identifier(s) (if available)
  • The Country(s)/Jurisdiction(s) of Incorporation of the legal entity(s)
  • Fund code (if entity is a fund)

If you receive a request for this information, please respond promptly so that we can proceed with the FATCA classification as efficiently as possible.

How to obtain a Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) FATCA portal has been established to enable registration of Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs) that require a Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN) in order to achieve FATCA compliance.

Each entity needs to consider its own FATCA status and determine whether registration is appropriate. Entities that are not financial institutions or do not need to register will still have to be able to document their FATCA status.

HSBC expects many non-US financial institutions to register with the IRS in order to verify their compliance and minimise any potential withholding liability.


Last updated: 6 August 2018