View Full Version : More Bank Idiots

2nd Feb 2015, 18:54
The wife has had her bank account, based on an off-shore island located just south of Great Britain, where she lived and worked for 22 years, cancelled because she no longer lives there. They suggest, if she's not going to buy some property there, that she opens an account with them - the same bank - on the mainland.

So she goes into a branch - a large one - of the same bank in London and shows a spotty yoof the letter she has received and says she'd like to open an account there. After painfully reading it he explains he's never heard of the branch of the bank on the island so couldn't know they were closing accounts and he doesn't know what to do.

Wife points to telephone number on letter, where it states "CALL THIS NUMBER IF YOU HAVE ANY QUERIES" says call Geraldine at this number, she'll sort you out, and I'll be back tomorrow. Yoof looks at letter as if it's going to bite him, and says "I'll have to talk to someone".

Leaves counter and vanishes. And after waiting five minutes, so does Wife.

2nd Feb 2015, 21:10
I think that banks take the same attitude as doctor's surgery staff, If it wasn't for the customers the job would be a lot better organised.

2nd Feb 2015, 21:11
I was thinking also of the tale about the kite that complained just how much higher he could go if it wasn't for the string holding him down.


2nd Feb 2015, 21:24
I tried to open a personal account at my Business bank H***.
Why because my current account bank T** I wanted to change to L*****, was taking for ever to change (eventually 8 weeks).
I thought H*** would rip my arm off being a potential new customer, but couldn't get me out of the door quick enough.

2nd Feb 2015, 21:27
Funny that (or rather not) as it's the same H followed by three asterisks my wife has problems with. She said the Santander was (even ? far more ?) worse, however.

Once upon a time banks wanted customers with good credit ratings. Now they only want people with bad credit ratings.

2nd Feb 2015, 22:23
T'ain't just UK banks either. Years ago, I lived and worked in Germany so had a German Bank account. When we came back to the UK, it had lots of money in it (deposit account, mostly, earning some interest).

The next year, I got a letter telling me that since I no longer received a salary in Germany, I couldn't have a new cheque card. That was no serious problem, and the German cheques I wrote cleared with no problems. About ten years later, I got to my last cheque and wrote to ask for a new cheque book.

"Since you don't have a cheque card, you can't have a cheque book".

The argument that they had lots of my money cut no ice. It was a good job I had one cheque left!

Super VC-10
2nd Feb 2015, 23:26
Talking of banks, how long can they suspend one's account for?

2nd Feb 2015, 23:36
how long can they suspend one's account for?

Depends why they suspended it. :cool:

Thomas coupling
2nd Feb 2015, 23:39
I love banks - without banks I wouldn't have made as much money as I do now - betting on their volatility. I particularly love the ECB....Mmmmmmmm:ok:

Loose rivets
2nd Feb 2015, 23:43
t'other day a pal walked into a local bank and plonked a sizable sum over the counter. He then asked to open some other account and showed his driving license. They wanted a utility bill. What is it with these bills? But anyway, the conversation went from daft to asking the next girl what to do. Do you know him? Well, not personally. :ugh: (substantial local business using that bank.)

My pal has a limited ability to suffer fools and finally he fused. Trying to contain his language, he bellowed - and I mean, BELLOWED - you're all a load of monkeys!!!!!!!!!!!! He stormed out.

Having calmed down he called the Premier customer support - or whatever it's called in the UK - and the agent TOTALLY AGREED WITH HIM. She described not recognizing him as offensive and awarded him 25 quid saying she'd be writing to that bank's manager.

Result, or what.

Super VC-10
2nd Feb 2015, 23:43
A/c was suspended while they investigated a complaint that they failed to carry out a direct instruction given to them in person at a branch. It was suspended by a branch manager, who kept my bank card, saying I wouldn't be able to use it anyway. Since then, I've had virtually no correspondence from them. A letter asking if there was a problem with my account and saying they would send someone round (they didn't), and one saying that they were reducing my monthly statements to three monthly, which was a bit odd seeing that they hadn't sent me any since the account was suspended. Not naming the bank, but the words "gnat" and "worst" might give a tiny clue.

3rd Feb 2015, 00:07
He then asked to open some other account and showed his driving license. They wanted a utility bill. What is it with these bills?


You cannot use one document as both proof of ID and proof of address.

Its called KYC and their hands are tied by the regulator.

3rd Feb 2015, 00:10
Super VC-10,

Certainly sounds a little curious.

Regulated firms are obliged to respond to complaints within eight weeks.

If you have received a "Final Response" that you're unhappy with or it has been more then eight weeks, then you're free to head over to the Ombudsman.

3rd Feb 2015, 02:30
You cannot use one document as both proof of ID and proof of address.

WTF not ? My driving licence has my name, my photograph, my address my date of birth and my signature. What more does anyone need ? Even my passport doesn't state my address.

3rd Feb 2015, 07:46
In respect of the original posting, my CI bank has two distinct departments, with different sort codes, one dealing with local residents, one for offshore customers. Mrs. OFSO's situation may just be the result of an administrative error.

Or it may be gross incompetence and stupidity on the part of the island bankers, compounded by the ignorance of spotty yoof on the mainland. Yep, I think it's more likely to be that.

The mainland bank tellers' terminals have no access to the offshore accounts, they don't even recognise the sort code, and yet the branch ATMs allow the full range of transactions. All rather bizarre. This means that when I went into a mainland branch to exchange some Jersey notes, which are difficult to spend on the mainland other than at airports, the teller said I had to pay them into my account and then draw out, she couldn't do a straight swap. I gave her my card to do the transaction, and her machine didn't recognise it because 'your account doesn't exist'.

3rd Feb 2015, 08:08
WTF not ? My driving licence has my name, my photograph, my address my date of birth and my signature. What more does anyone need ?

Fraud Risk.

The JMLSG guidance is actually based on a risk-based approach. There is actually nothing stopping a regulated company only requiring one form of ID not supported by a secondary document. However this inherently increases fraud risk.

This is also further complicated by the fact that it depends on the customer you are dealing with, and the fact that not all customers will be able to pass secondary electronic checks (e.g. if you are not on the public electoral roll, you will fail most electronic checks).

Ancient Mariner
3rd Feb 2015, 08:12
I'm trying to figure out why you guys accept this kind of crap?
Banking in Norway is a piece of cake, no problems at either private or business levels. Smooth and straightforward.
What you describe is what happened to me in Manila when I wanted to open accounts with a global four letter bank whose name indicates Asian origin.
I had to attend in person, thankfully my secretary tagged along. We started with my private account, as the questions kept coming I could feel my blood pressure rising and when I was asked about my mother's maiden name the safety valve blew and I told them to stuff it. Unfortunately we needed a business account so I left it to my secretary to sort it out. Never had a bank account in Manila while we lived there. Didn't need one, couldn't be bothered.

3rd Feb 2015, 09:17
Its called KYC

Sounds more like CYA to me.

Had to open a bank account for my ancient aunt some time ago, so I could manage her affairs. Took her along. She had no passport, driving licence or any other photo ID. Bank accepted her on my say-so, but then I'd been a customer there for 50 years and on first name terms with most of the staff.

3rd Feb 2015, 09:26
I had heaps of problems with a bloody bank on Man Isle and pulled out entirely last year. Have had no problems whatsoever using my present two banks in the Caymans. Very very professional both of them.

LGW Vulture
3rd Feb 2015, 09:46
The most professional bank I have dealings with - and indeed I have a few - is in Mauritius. They have so far been fantastic.

Allan Lupton
3rd Feb 2015, 10:03
Proof of identity is often taken to extremes. A few years ago we, a small local club, wanted to add a signator to our account (worth nearly £3000!).
As she did not drive or travel abroad she had neither driving licence nor passport. She was a respectable married woman so, not unusually, the utility bills were in her husband's name.
We did sort it out in the end but it wasn't easy.

Try getting a bank to recognise powers of attorney if you really want trouble.

3rd Feb 2015, 10:14
I recently wanted to get an additional debit card on my UK offshore account for 'she who shops'. You'd think it would be simple ........ my account, my money, my risk.

Apparenty there is no procedure for the above and it meant that the account had to be redesignated as a joint account, with all the rigmarole and form-filling that that entailed, credit and ID checks and all the rest of it on her. As she has no connections with the UK it was an utter nightmare, but I was determined not to let the bank dictate the terms and I eventually got it done.

3rd Feb 2015, 10:44
Try getting a bank to recognise powers of attorney if you really want trouble.

When ancient aunt became incapable it fell to me to manage her affairs. I had to open an account for her (she'd never a current account in 80 years, just a PO savings). I made it internet accessible, and had myself added as a cheque signatory. Most of her outgoings were on D/D but what was left I could pay by direct transfer or cheque. No EPA necessary.

3rd Feb 2015, 10:49
Mrs. OFSO's situation may just be the result of an administrative error.

No. HSBC Jersey is closing all accounts of clients who do not have a "firm connection" with Jersey. Definition is lose but includes working there or owning property there. Oh and if you have a mortgage or other debts with them they will continue your account no matter where you live.

They have contacted several other friends who formerly lived there: same letter, quite detailed. Confirmed by phone call.

3rd Feb 2015, 10:50
The most professional bank I have dealings with - and indeed I have a few - is in Mauritius.

Used B*rcl*ys in Port Louis just the once, to send cash to account in Jersey. Very professional, one oddity on an island where most of the population are of Indian decent, all the bank staff were Chinese!

3rd Feb 2015, 10:52
HSBC Jersey is closing all accounts of clients who do not have a "firm connection" with Jersey.

Surely this amounts to them closing down their offshore business on the island. Is this the plan?

3rd Feb 2015, 14:10
Proof of identity is often taken to extremes. A few years ago we, a small local club, wanted to add a signator to our account (worth nearly £3000!).
As she did not drive or travel abroad she had neither driving licence nor passport. She was a respectable married woman so, not unusually, the utility bills were in her husband's name.
We did sort it out in the end but it wasn't easy.

My wife is treasurer of the local branch of the Embroiderers' Guild - a charity. She needed to change signatories in respect of the annual Gift Aid claim to HMRC so put the Chairman and one other committee member down on the form together with their addresses and National Insurance numbers as required by the boxes on the form.

Both signatories - ladies in their 70's - were rejected by HMRC as not being acceptable as they were non-tax payers and therefore were, quote, "unknown to HMRC".

Also ID taken to extremes - when I renewed my driving licence at 70 I had to provide my UK Government Gateway ID, my passport number, my National Insurance number and all addresses I've lived at in the past three years - all to renew a licence I already had and the renewal forms were sent to the correct address they had on their records, yet...:ugh:

3rd Feb 2015, 14:31
I own a flat in a block of 12 and the 12 owners have a company that manages the common areas, insurance etc and also is the freeholder.
I am a director of the management company (this is rotated on regular basis) and at the last meeting it was agreed that the company would extend the leases of each flat owner from 99 to 999 years.
Without going into all the details the basics are that the management company instructed a solicitor to draw up new leases which are then approved by the directors of the company.
All fine so far.
The new lease was then sent to me as an owner for signature and I signed it and returned to the soliictor - so far so good.
I then receive a letter from the same solicitor saying that they will register the new lease with the Land Registry for a relatively small fee, but they will "execute" only and not advise me on the lease itself as they are representing the managament comany.
All with me so far? good.
I accept their quote and then receive another letter including a requirement for proof of identity "to comply with money laundering regulations" plus another form to fill in.
I contacted the legal eagle who had sent me this letter saying that they already had proof of identity from myself as director of the management company, when we instructed them, so why do they need it again?
"Well you are a different legal person as you are a different client, so you must complete it again".
Money laundering? there is NO money changing hands - the rent is one peppercorn per annum.
Different person? No sorry it is me and you already have documentary evidence of this.
"Sorry but you must complete the form and send proof of identity or we cannot act for you"
Quite right you will not be acting for me - I will take my business and the Management Company's future business elswhere.

3rd Feb 2015, 14:41
You don't understand. That is because you all have functioning brains and IQ's outside single figures and are human.

What you are not is from that parasite that infects our species, called 'Bureaucrat'.

It is a clever form of parasite being able to mimic many of the physical forms of the species it preys upon. It is endemic in government circles and pretty much so now in the financial and health service sector. Any trip to EASA HQ allows you to see hundreds of them in their preferred habitat.

The key defining characteristics is a complete lack of any form of normal human logic, decency or common sense. It is identified from that non-functional human entity that has the above characteristics (the terrorist) by generally not blowing things up or cutting heads off but preferring to inflict a slow death by a thousand small injustices and trivialities....none the less the objectives are the same. World domination and total control.

The bureaucrats have almost achieved this objective which is why they don't really give a toss for the terrorists (and even use them to further the bureaucrats own objectives....yes I am pointing a finger at you Mr. TSA!)

This isn't about banking, ID's, KYC or CYA.....it's just about the growth of paperwork and the expansion of the bureaucratic species.

..a pox on them all......

3rd Feb 2015, 15:18
Agreed on the age 70 driving licence renewal - what a performance.

Do the newly qualified have to jump through more hoops?

3rd Feb 2015, 16:15
Choxolate - it's not them, it's you. I strongly suspect your solicitor was simply complying with the Law Society guidelines on money laundering - this is something he's obliged to do whether or not there is actually any realistic possibility of it happening or not. He's not trying to be obstructive - he has no discretion on this point. You can take your business elsewhere, but you'll only find you're in the same situation...

...or maybe you'll find a solicitor who's happy to ignore the Law Society rules. Is that the kind of solicitor you want?

3rd Feb 2015, 16:37
No choxolate is right. The solicitor has already had to verify the identity of him as a director and the company as an entity, as those are two different persons legally, but if they have already verified his identity as a director then they have ipso facto verified his identity as an individual.

The solicitor is just enforcing an inflexible internal CYA process. What the law and the law society guidelines require is a risk based approach that actually has plenty of flexibility if someone with a brain interprets the rules sensibly.

3rd Feb 2015, 16:40
They already have my proof of identity, they have met me, copied my passport and a utility bill they have countless witnessed copies of my signature. What is it in the Law Society guidelines that says I have to go through the process twice??
I am NOT a different person because they are acting for me in two capacities.
Sorry they are feckwits putting me to inconvenience by MINDLESSLY following some procedure from on high.

3rd Feb 2015, 17:13
What's the attraction of having an account in those little islands these days? All the banks there are going to tell the Hacienda how much interest you get, with all the hassle that could entail.

3rd Feb 2015, 18:07
All the banks there are going to tell the Hacienda how much interest you get,

a) At the moment this only applies to savings accounts rather than current accounts:

b) The Banks don't tell the Agencia Tributaria directly but via their local financial services

c) And I don't think the Agencia Tributaria is going to be overly concerned with the miniscule amount of interest paid on current accounts, especially when the vast (!) amounts of money trickling into those accounts is composed of ONLY pension payments which any sensible person has already declared to the Agencia Tributaria.

There is no attraction to having accounts there these days, but they are legacy accounts from times when there was, or from when one worked there.

3rd Feb 2015, 18:11
Surely this amounts to them closing down their offshore business on the island. Is this the plan?

Unless you have debts with them or vast amounts to bank or are an ex UK Prime Minister: yes.

The small fish are being tossed back into the ocean.....because they don't bring enough cash into the banks brimming coffers.....

3rd Feb 2015, 20:35

If a none resident has an interest earning account with an on-shore UK branch, the branch stops UK Income Tax at source.

It is a right pig of job to get this UK tax back.

If you are honest and declare that same interest to your country of residence, you get taxed again.

The off-shore branches do not deduct tax, they pay out their miserable interest in full.

On shore branches also tend to employ staff that don't understand international problems.

It just makes life a little simpler.

3rd Feb 2015, 20:56
All true. And offshore banks used to be able to deduct 30% tax at source and report to your country of residence that "tax had been paid". This is no longer true but surprise, surprise, some of them still do.

There is one country in the EU of course to whose residents none of this applies, as I am sure you are aware.

4th Feb 2015, 01:44
You think you have banking problems ?

Try being married to a USA citizen who is married to a non-USA citizen, living in a third country of which neither are citizens, using a billing address that has no relation to the Country of origin of either party.

One could weep ( and regularly does )

4th Feb 2015, 10:28
To possibly wind up this thread. After trying five banks in London,. Mrs OFSO found one where the manager was called, he was wearing a suit and tie and spoke English, polite, charming, he looked at her papers including a PoA, said "that'll be no problem" and did the necessary. She said "I'm giving you nine out of ten for service". He thought a minute and said "I'd like to get ten out of ten - would you like a cup of coffee ?"

As ever, it all depends on personalities - and having staff who CARE about customers.

4th Feb 2015, 14:57

There is one country in the EU of course to whose residents none of this applies, as I am sure you are aware.

I'm not! But I'd like to know.

4th Feb 2015, 16:37
Check your PM's !

4th Feb 2015, 21:28
As ever, it all depends on personalities..........

Like everything else in Life - it ain't WHAT you know, but WHO you know.

4th Feb 2015, 22:46

Where I come from "rules are made for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools"

Pinky the pilot
5th Feb 2015, 01:44
"rules are made for the guidance of wise men and the blind obedience of fools

Just my thought.

5th Feb 2015, 13:52
rules are made for the guidance of wise men

Spanish, Portuguese, Italians, Greeks, French (south of Lyon)

and the obedience of fools

British, Germans, French (north of Lyon)

Belgians, Dutch ? Not sure about them !

5th Feb 2015, 14:03
What about the Catalans (east of London)?

5th Feb 2015, 16:57

"British, Germans, French (north of Lyon)"

You have my blessing to add the Swiss.

5th Feb 2015, 20:51
What about the Catalans (east of London)?

Never mind about "east of London", from buying coffee in London's Pret a Manger chain I'd say they've all moved TO London.

Of course, no "tax avoidance" in the UK, is there ?

5th Feb 2015, 20:57
Back to the subject of bank idiots.

This week, friend of mine discovers Santander card has been blocked when shopping in Waitrose. Tries in M & S, same thing.

Pops into branch of Santander, proffers card, "no it's all in order, not blocked". Tries in Tesco's, card blocked.

Gets home, phones Santander. "Yes it is blocked, I can see you've tried it in Waitrose, M & S, Tescos."

"Why was it blocked ?"

"Well we do this on a random basis to see if a card is still being used, and you should really have been told that when you went into your local branch." (A few security questions, then...) "Right, I'm just unblocking it now, fine, that's it."

So, Santander, the only way you can find to see if a card is being used is to block it and wait for the squeals of outrage, is it ? Amazing.

5th Feb 2015, 23:37
Mrs. ExS is currently on her 10th day - and that is not an exaggeration - of trying to get an overseas bank to open another account for her, she is already a customer. The operative she is dealing with is in a senior position and very friendly and responsive, but every e-mail -and they can only be accessed via a "secure site" which needs passwords, memorable words, CAPCHA answers etc to even read - has errors and inaccuracies that need to be corrected.

An uneccessary nightmare. Gold coins in a tin under the bed used to work, so I'm told, so this is progress ?

5th Feb 2015, 23:59
Nemlig Per!

Samme i Danmark eller østrike. Nå er jeg i UK og det er bare utrolig!


6th Feb 2015, 14:16
Mrs. ExS is currently on her 10th day

I must tell my wife that her 5 days doing a similar thing was amazingly quickly.

Whet she finds particularly galling is having to (a) go to local branch (b) be sent home for additional papers and to make long phone call from there to head office (c) note down what they say, and (d) return to local branch to tell them what their own head office has said. Oh and usually (e) when she gets back to the local branch it's a different person on the counter.

7th Feb 2015, 09:19
Not banks, but a bit like "idiots behind desks" in Spain when we lived there about 10 years ago. We went to register something official to do with residency. They only dealt with this on a (Thursday?). Man behind the desk told us we had the wrong papers and to come back next week with the correct ones (which took lots of other offices with people behind desks to obtain). Next Thursday a woman behind the desk said we had the wrong papers and told us what to bring - next Thursday. We told her we had brought them last week and the man told us to come back with these ones. "Well he was wrong and I am right. NEXT."

7th Feb 2015, 09:26
This like the tax situation in Spain. Depends on last person you spoke to, did he have a row with his wife that morning, is he also p*ssed off with the government. But a good bank manager can work wonders, clawing back money for you which the electricity company stole from your a/c, etc.

9th Feb 2015, 01:49
"to comply with money laundering regulations"
mrsr1 had a similar problem trying to put a lump sum of money into an existing investment account - she sent a cheque, drawn on the same bank with which the investment account is held, and had to prove her identity .... again.

Krystal n chips
9th Feb 2015, 06:56
Ah, yes, Banks.......

BBC News - HSBC bank 'helped clients dodge millions in tax' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31248913)

9th Feb 2015, 13:42
Here we go again. The usual outraged squeals of rage from the usual sources, in many cases, from those who profit by other's avoidance of paying tax in one land, by shifting their debts and business to another.

9th Feb 2015, 19:11
Having been a mere customer of one bank since 1975 since I was a student and not had much help or benefit for the privilege of them keeping my money for the last forty years, but having been screwed around an awful lot by them, including them changing my "local" walk in branch to one thirteen miles away, they've suddenly decided that I'm now a highly valued customer.

Funny that, since all that's happened is that they've just discovered I'm leaving them to their incompetence (not to mention their derisory interest rates), whipping out all my savings etc. and changing to another bank.

11th Feb 2015, 11:22
Sounds a bit like my recent experience with one of the Aussie Big Four where I have been a private and significant business customer for 55 years!

I'm just have an interesting contest over a neat little ripoff trick called Residual Interest.

I was two days late over Christmas - New Year in paying (in full as I always do) a credit card account - preoccupation with family visits and coming to terms with the implications of a cancer diagnosis played a role here.

They had the money - it was just in the wrong account. Anyway after a discussion on the phone, they refunded the interest charged and I thanked them - sincerely.

The next month they charged interest again and I quote:
The interest charge on your January statement is known as residual interest. Residual interest charges are from when your December statement last closed until the day we received your payment in full. So here we are - one month after the interest amount was refunded and the account payed in full - a day before due date for the January statement - including the interest amount already charged because the credit didn't appear on the January statement. So even though my January account was "overpaid" and before the due date, they still charge an interest on the interest.

Watch out for Residual Interest !!!

(And they wonder why people hate banks). :ugh:

I do need to say that they have now credited my account with the amount of the Residual Interest. However the credit does not appear on my February Statement, so I am advised the pay the full amount including the interest charge otherwise we will go over the same process again.

I think I've probably cost their interest charges in personnel minutes in answering my emails, so there is just the smallest amount of satisfaction in that :E