Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Not A Problem I Face...

Joseph in IL sent in this story, which isn't exactly good for the blood pressure...

Prove it: Bank blocking some customers from making large withdrawals without ‘evidence’ of spending need
If you bank at HSBC in England, don’t plan on making any large cash withdrawals. At least not without a good explanation. Or, maybe even a permission slip.

That’s because a previously unannounced change in banking policy is blocking some customers from making large withdrawals without “evidence” explaining why they need the money from their accounts.

The policy affects customers attempting withdrawals for amounts as little as £5,000 ($8,253).
Now, yes, this is happening in England, where they have funny ideas about "freedom" and the role of government in daily lives. They have abdicated a good portion of their freedom in favor of an overreaching nanny state, so it's only natural that they would have a "ho hum" approach to a bank deciding that they need a reason to withdraw their own money.

"Because I want to put it in a pile and roll in it" should be the only acceptable response. It is, quite simply, no business of theirs why someone would like to retrieve their own money. I can't think of anything the bank could do that would make the end of banking come sooner, I really can't. You want me to prove that I need MY OWN DAMN MONEY??? OH HELL NO. Interest rates are hovering somewhere between pittance and "you're joking" - it's not worth the chance of them deciding your cause isn't worthy to have the small amount in checking.

Hopefully this will stay on that side of the Atlantic, but I'd be prepared anyways...

That is all.


9 comments:

Daniel in Brookline said...

I'd think this would be a good enough reason to fight it out with the bank manager -- and when they relent, and say "Very well then, you may withdraw as much as you wish", take it ALL and close the account. They clearly cannot be trusted with other people's money.

Ed said...

I think that such events should be widely publicized so that potential depositors choice other providers of banking services.

The type of story reminds me of the Computer Engineering joke of the description of WOM hardware - Write Only Memory. You can write information to the device but never read it. This device is about as useful as a monetary deposit to a bank that does not allow withdrawal of funds. Maybe the perception of more safety justifies it all.

Ed said...

Edit that "choice" to "choose".

Ted said...

If the limitation only on large "cash" withdrawals then I don't have any real issues with it....... Just as long as I can continue to transfer funds back and forth between the bank and my brokerage account with the click of the mouse and a bunch of passwords then I'm good.


Nothing good will come from carting large stacks currency around .

Geodkyt said...

Along the lines of what Ted said, I could see a bank having a policy of a reasonable period of notice for a large cash withdrawal, simply because many branches keep far less cash on hand than people might think, relative to the number of customers they typically see each day.

However, if my financial institution cannot handle a few customers coming in and requesting eight or nine thousand dollars on the spot, then I'm bailing out -- because obviously, there's a run on that bank, and they are probably about to go under. AT WORST, I could see a small secondary branch saying to a customer saying, "Sir, I realize you want to withdraw $50,000 in $20 bills right now, but it'll take us a while to get that many packs of $20s carted over from the nearest main branch, because we need to call an armored car. We can give you $10,000 and a check for the rest in about five minutes, or you can head over to the Local Big Office on Main Street, or shall I ring up the car company?"

Geodkyt said...

Keep in mind that an ATM, for instance, only holds about $20K, and MOST institutions do not fill them to capacity (for a variety of reasons, including limiting how much cash is "on the road" and especially vulnerable to robbery at any given moment). And they aren't starting from empty, so they only have to carry a limited amount of cash to do several ATMs.

Even major branches in the days before nearly universal debit cards and ATMs everywhere pretty much eliminated a lot of cash transactions rarely kept more than about $250K in cash on hand. A secondary branch might only have $50,000 (or less) in the vault.

At a certain point, cash is ALWAYS transported by armed security, for safety reasons. I think the usual trigger level is around $10,000.

Geodkyt said...

Oh, and if they have to dispatch an armored car specifically for you, you're paying a transport fee. . .

notDilbert said...

.... and any cash transaction over $ 9,999 ( either deposit or withdraw ) gets reported to the DEA and IRS ( and now probably Homeland Security )

Anonymous said...

HSBC, not the government, was responsible for the policy. According to HSBC Poobahs, the refusal to allow withdrawal was due to a misunderstanding by branch management folks regarding HSBC's "customer education" efforts. HSBC Poobahs have already pushed the clarification down to the branches, which essentially goes something like this (paraphrased): "Bankers may, and should, inquire as to the purpose of large cash withdrawals, but they must honor the request for the withdrawal."