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This is a question Banks

Your Ginger Fuhrer froths, "I hate my bank. Not because of debt or anything but because I hate being sold to - possibly pathologically so - and everytime I speak to them they try and sell me services. Gold cards, isas, insurance, you know the crap. It drives me insane. I ALREADY BANK WITH YOU. STOP IT. YOU MAKE ME FRIGHTED TO DO MY NORMAL BANKING. I'm angry even thinking about them."

So, tell us your banking stories of woe.

No doubt at least one of you has shagged in the vault, shat on a counter or thrown up in a cash machine. Or something

(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 13:15)
Pages: Latest, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, ... 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

"A pint!? Why that's nearly an armful!"
When I left uni and got a job my bank thought it would be a jolly good idea if I could convert my £450 over draft into a loan repayable over a couple of years. They sugared the deal with offering me £1000 so I bought a bicycle to get to work (told them it was for a car). The man in the suit said that it would be a pretty good idea to get an endowment policy as I'd be wanting to get a house soon and the health insurance would be cheaper for a 23 year old. So I signed up for it.

A week later I got a letter inviting me to attend a private doctors surgery for an AIDS test. Not only were the fuggers selling me an endowment policy for a house I didn't have but they were accusing me of either having regular unprotected bareback sex with all and sundry or shooting up on horse in some back alley.

Oh and I had to pay £50 to the doctor.

Still got them back a few years ago. Sued them for miss selling and got the £17k back I'd put in plus a little bit more. Also nice to know I'm HIV -ve (and have a certificate to prove it).
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 9:20, 3 replies)
They love me!
22 years ago my fridge shat itself - being, broke at the time,I bought a new one on a "12 months interest free" plan throuh a finance company owned by one of the major banks. 3 weeks after the fridge arrived, I was sent a credit card with a $1000.00 limit. I phoned them and told them i didn't want the card and was told to just cut it up. Next month a new card arrived, with a $2000.00 limit. by this time I had payed off the fridge and thought that was the end of it. I phoned them again and was given the same advice. 2 months later, new card arrives with a $5000.00 limit. Fast forward to a month ago, new card arrives, platinum member, with a $400,000.00 limit. I have promised myself when it hits 1/2 a million I'm gonna report the card stolen and then spend the lot.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 8:38, 5 replies)
I do my bit for banking....
by being permanently overdrawn.

Back in '91, me and my mates were planning our first Eastern Europe excursion, now that it was readily available for easy tourism.

I was paid monthly, but my mates were paid weekly, and were shitter with money than I was/am. So every week, they had been giving me money to look after for them, which I duly spent knowing that I would have a month's wages on which the three of us could get wankered with come pay day.

All well and good.

Come pay day, I calls at the bank, it rhymes with Farclays, and was located in St Anne's Square, Manchester. I puts in my card to the machine, and the bastard eats it, and gives me some tosh about being overdrawn past my limit.

So, I gets to the office and starts making calls. The woman I spoke too told me that my card was taken because I was overdrawn, but I argued that I would not be overdrawn now, as a month's salary went in this very day. She said she couldn't confirm that my money had gone in, because she couldn't see it on that night's report.

I work in IT, and knew a lot about how the BACS Systems worked, and knew that in the relatively early days of IT the report could be re-ran on request, as we had done this with production tests.

Eventually, she does as she is told. She finds my money, and tells me that I can have access to my cash, as long as I agree to pay a percentage of my overdraft. Great! We agree that they can take 20% and I can draw the rest.

Now, I have no card, no cheque book, no photo ID (except a membership card for a famous North West nite-club with me looking seriously off my tits in the picture), but this woman agrees it can all be sorted if I turn up at St Anne's Sq branch (not my regular branch, as that had been shut) and ask for X and she will let me sign some forms and release my cash.

So off I trots. I meet X, who is the very sort of bank worker that gives me a reason to hate banks. Despite my telephone agreement, this bitch is not for giving me my money.

I want to escalate the issue, but she won't get me the manager.

Pushed to the limit, I jump up on the counter, put my arse in one of the money exchange trays under the security glass, and sit.

I then start telling everyone that these folks are robbing cnuts, and I'm not going till I get my money.

I actually get some cheers from other folk in the queue, as the staff frantically huddle in the back. After a few minutes of this, a form is produced, and I get my money.

I immediately took my overdraft to another bank, similar to Hellifax. They are cnuts too.

Length: All the way from Berlin to Budapest.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 8:10, Reply)
Oh the irony...
The misses has a bank account, the other day they bounced a 10 quid direct debit due to lack of funds and stole 30 quid from her account.

Clearly their programmers can't count, as there was (at the time) over a grand in this particular account and so the balance should have been nearer 990 rather than bouncing a tenner. Three days later the direct debit is paid out of her funds, with no further deposits in between, thus proving that the funds were available and in her account.

She phones them, the Indian girl on the phone can clearly see that there was money to cover the tenner, yet can STILL only say, "due to the ongoing court case with the OFT, I cannot give you your money back.

Now, someone tell me how this isn't just theft! Take whatever they like, call it *charges* and then refuse to give it back.

To the, "Should have abided by the rules" mob - how is this not abiding by the rules?

Sounds like theft, looks like theft, smells like theft....etc...


Scum. Greedy, thieving scum.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 8:07, 4 replies)
The Bank That Likes To Say Yes

Many moons ago a bunch of fuckwits robbed the TSB bank in Alnwick. It's a famous tale, in Northumberland, mainly ofr the jaw-dropping buffoonary of the robbers.

It started off OK. 3 guys wearing stockings for masks burst into the bank and threatened the cashiers with a shot gun (Note: 1 gun between three of them) and demanded all the money in the bank. The chief cashier, noting that these guys didn't seem the sharpest knives in the rack, told them that the vault was locked (it wasn't) and that all the cash drawers were empty (they weren't) but they were welcome to take these bags of coins that were on the back counter. So they did and legged it back to their getaway van which roared off into the distance.

The robbers thought they'd made a pretty good score. Almost 5 grand in 50p coins and they headed home to ditch the masks and the gun and divvy up the loot.

So that night they were all in the local pub, buying rounds for everyone (and paying in 50p coins) and were singing at the tops of their voices:

"TSB - The Bank That Likes To Say Yes"

Bear in mind that this was about 50 yards away from the bank they'd robbed.

To compound their fuckwittery, the girlfriend turned up at the local co-op the next day and bough a new telly, washing machine and microwave and paid for it with 50p pieces.

An hour later the cops turned up at the door and nicked the lot of them. A quick search discovered the gun and the masks which had been cunningly hidden by stuffing everything into a bin bag and heaving it over the fence into a filed next door.

When they were nicked the leader looked up at the copper who was handcuffing him and asked:

"How did you know it was us? Who squealed?"

Cheers
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 7:43, Reply)
I don't have a bank account
...see my other qotw posts for the obvious reasons.

However, my GF does.

Last year we were going on holiday, before we went we realised, as you do, that she would need a passport As the passport office is now just an extension of HMRC and the price has skyrocketed, we had to go to the bank to withdraw 200 quid.

Unfortunatly, despite her filling in change-of-address forms, it seems that they simply throw these in the bin rather than act on them, and as such when her cash-card expired they sent a replacement to her old address - an address that was now empty and for which she no longer had the keys - forcing us to go into the bank (Euuurrrggghh) to withdraw the money.

She has:

1 photo ID card
1 bank statment
1 bank card from a different bank
1 electricity bill from the new address

...so unless someone with the same (very unusual) name, who looks just like her has broken into our house and lifted a utility bill, then there can be no doubt that this person is who she says she is.

This is also not the first time she has been in that bank, and indeed, went to school with one of the (on duty) tellers.

Would they let her have the money? Of course not.

I hate banks with the passion that the jews hated Hitler, and so this riles me straight away.

If they'd given her a debit card when she asked (she had over 12k in the account) then she would most likely have paid for this passport on-line or some such other way, but no...she doesn't pass a CREDIT check for a DEBIT card...(throws hands up in excacberation)

Anyway, the teller berates her for not informing them that she's moved - she did, and this is THEIR fuck up, not hers, and then proceeds to tell her that she needs a passport of driving licence to get to her money.

At this point, I said:

"See that door over there?"
"Yes" replies dosh-monkey.
"No-one is coming in our out of it, until she has 200 quid in her hands, got it."

I then proceed to drag a couple of chairs from the personal-wanker part of the bank and wedge them under the door.

...to the screams from the same monkey that "I'll call the police."

Now that made me VERY angry, and so started, "Don't make idle threats; get the old bill in her, then we'll see what is thought of your blatent theft. Go on, get on with it."

He then makes a call - to his manager, not the old bill - fucking bottler*, then comes back and says;

"Let's have another look at that ID..."

...and oddly, 200 quid appears.

I mean Christ on a stick - it's 200 quid, there's over 12k in the account - if someone was scamming, I think they might go for a bit more than enough to buy a king sized fucking mars bar.

I think they must be trained in either, incompetence, and/or to hold on to your dosh for as long as possible.

I've don't have a bank account - I've been clean for over two years.



* mind you, I suspect in this country, trying to get to your own money from a bank aftery their daft and unreasonable refusal is liable to get me around 7-10.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 7:40, Reply)
Got them
Many many years ago I was with a bank and went od by about £100. At the sametime I changed jobs and was paid cash so no money going in the bank.
Bank kept sending snotty letters and saying they would send the bailiffs. So I phoned them and said I would try and pay back the money at £10 a month.
Anyway paid one month and couldn't afford it anymore so didn't pay.
Ignored more snotty letters until I got one from their debt collection team.
Wrote back a nice letter saying "I agreed to TRY and pay back £10 a month. You agreed to this. I now find myself unable to pay back the money so I'm not going to."
They wrote back and said basically "OK"
Still makes me feel happy.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 7:36, Reply)
Those +*!/*-*&^%$£ bags
My son lives in the U.S.A. silly bugger.
Anyway he gets prezzie money and we put it in his UK acc.
He used his card and withdrew it and went 63p od.
By the time his "You've taken too much money from us" letter had arrived at our house (about 10 days). He was £98 od due to letter charges and daily being od charges.
Spent 30 mins in the bank argueing very loudly so everyone could hear ALL the details and the manager strangely appeared and said they wouldn't charge him and that his acc was now in credit by £1.
So it goes to show that IF YOU COMPLAIN REALLY LOUDLY IN PUBLIC AT A BUSY TIME THINGS GET DONE.
I still think they're c***s though.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 7:23, 1 reply)
I just want to pay the damn cable bill
When I first moved to Korea, there were lots of little things I had to do in which I had no idea how to do it. One of those was setting up a bank account. I chose a bank at random and entered, wondering what to do. A fairly attractive woman in kind of a uniform approached me, brought me to the teller, and attempted to translate for me with her own nearly-nonexistent English skills. Task completed, and then on the way out I noticed the gun strapped to my helper's belt. They have armed guards in Korean banks? Let alone attractive, nonthreatening, helpful ones? Do they even have bank robberies? Every time I returned to that bank I looked for the armed guard, and constructed numerous implausible fantasies.

It's difficult doing things like this, because there are a lot of things not permitted for foreigners, or you need ridiculous amounts of ID, fees, or medical tests just to sign up for free e-mail. You never know what you're allowed and what you can't do. Another more difficult task was getting a home Internet connection. I was told I could easily pay the bills that arrive in the mail by taking them to the bank. So I went to the bank and there she was, and she helped me over to the counter.

I didn't know how to pay the bill, so I brought all my bank account information, my foreigner registration card, and even my passport. I gave them the bill and the money, and they were confused. So I gave them my bank card to show I was a customer, and they were confused. I provided all the other documents, but they didn't really want to see any of them. It took about ten minutes, and then finally the security guard told me "We think this is not your bill."

They refused payment of my bill...very slowly. Why? Here was the bill in my name, my bank account, and several proofs of ID. I lost cable for several days as a result.

My (Korean) then girlfriend told me all I had to do was go to the bank and give them the bill and pay the money. Nothing else was needed. So why did they refuse to accept it? Their only reason was that they thought the bill belonged to some sort of scam artist who gives bills to foreigners in order to trick them into paying 20 000 won (probably about 10 pounds).

Anyway, I was so adamant that I couldn't do it, she took the bill. She went to a bank that was not my home branch, where I was not a member, without any of my ID. She gave them the bill and the money, and they gave her a receipt. Not once did they tell her "We think this bill is not yours."

It's been over five years, but I'd really like to go back to that bank and ask them what they were thinking.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 6:17, 1 reply)
Hypocrisy.
Sperm banks accept donations, yet banks kick you out for having a wank.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 4:21, 2 replies)
Time Travel
Once I went to my bank to make a deposit, which I was hoping to have processed as soon as possible. The bank had an irritating "wait five business days" policy. Today was Friday, and I hoped it would clear by next Friday.

But when I came into the bank, all the dates said it was Monday. It turns out that the bank (I assume them all) decides that late Friday is actually officially Monday. That meant I couldn't get the money until the following Monday, ten days after I deposit it.

As I was leaving, the teller told me "Have a nice weekend."

"I can't," I replied. "It's Monday."
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 2:33, Reply)
When I was a kid
Well, 17 and a bit, I was thrown on the street.

When I hit 18, I went to the bank, and asked them for a £100 overdraft. They actually gave me £1200, because I was a student, though only at college.

Then, without signing anything, a credit card came through the door.

I've only just payed it off, now at 22. Stupid arse here didn't realise that I didn't egally have to pay it off because I didn't ask for it and wasn't even meeting the terms for it (student credit card), but when you got those bailiffs demanding money, you fear!
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 2:21, 5 replies)
Account Review
Always a pile of dogs eggs - don't ever attend them.

Broke my rule of never attending them from previous experience, and waited in the bank foyer for a good 30 minutes or so past my initial meeting time.

Went home, sent an invoice into the local branch for 30 mins lost earnings.

Fuck those ignorant fuckers, if they deem it neccesary to waste my time and effort I'll take every pointless and pedantic step neccesary to waste their time.

I'm with Palahniuk / Durden on this one; put them all back to zero.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 2:00, Reply)
Secret Pleasure
When I use a cash machine, I always imagine that the machine can speak to me. I've had some odd looks when I've said "We are unable to authorise your transaction. You skint bastard." to myself in 2001-style a little too loudly.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 1:52, Reply)
bonnie, but no clyde
every family has a black sheep, my sister is ours. she hated school with a passion, being outspoken and not inclined to learn anything that wasn't sport-related. she got into trouble frequently and soon, the teachers treated her like nothing more than a troublemaker.
one teacher, however, pushed her too far. i won't go into details, that's a story for another qotw.
as soon as she was legally able, she decided to leave her education behind her for good. she wasn't going to leave school without a little going-away present, though.

she robbed the school bank.

over £200 of students' money went missing that day but, as the school had no cameras, nobody had seen her and she had the foresight to wear gloves, nothing could be proven. she got away scot free.

it's only recently that she's been allowed to open a bank account, due to her skill at forging my mother's name on checques.

yes, she was a cunt, but fortunately, she has now become a nicer and more responsible person. having kids will do that to you.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 1:30, Reply)
Haunted bank
My line of work takes me into all sorts of establishments, banks included and I get access ALL areas wherever it is I'm working, which can be fascinating in itself.

One day earlier this year I had a couple of hours work to do in a bank (sorry - I'm not saying where but I promise you this is 100% true). I showed up and after the usual security pass issues I told one of the nice ladies exactly where I needed to go, pointing out the particular places on the plans I had, one of them being on the third floor.

At this she gave me a funny look and said she'd have to get me some keys as the bank only used the ground and first floors and that I would have to find a door in an unused office that had what looked like a cupboard door in the corner, behind which I would find a flight of stairs.

I didn't find this to be unusual as you wouldn't believe how many wasted spaces there are above, behind and below all sorts of commercial spaces throughout the country (I've come across what was once a beautiful art-deco ballroom above a shoe shop in the past).

Anyhoo, this was a very old building, (originally Tudor judging by the upper levels outside) and although it'd had some major refurbishment done over the years, the higher you went the more delapidated and the more long and narrow it became.

So I made my way up the rickety old staircase at the front of the building with quaint leaded windows letting the sunshine in, checking the plans I had along the way. I found the winding corridor to the room I had to get to and within two corners I was in complete darkness. "No worries" thinks I, I had the trusty £25 "advanced LED" torch I'd bought from Tesco and continued on my way.

At this point I must add that I'm not of a nervous disposition and I'm not one of these people that is easily freaked and despite having an open mind I don't generally consider paranormal shit.

However, as I walked along this dark, crooked corridor I got a seriously uneasy feeling. The only thing I can equate it to would be walking into a pub full of moody skinheads who all turn round and give you a dirty look (this has happened to me and although I'm white I had a bit of a long haired hippy type look going on at the time) - but it was much more intense than that, the hairs on the back of my neck and on my arms really did stand up.

I then walked past a room and my torch lit up a row of dank concrete shower-stalls (strange in itself being the long-unused third floor of an old building) and judging by my plans the room I needed to go to was the next one along.

There was another stairwell just beyond the door I had to go in (which was all pitch black) and as I went to the back of the room and checked out what I needed to I heard a weird sound coming from the stairwell and decided to leg it FAST, not daring looking back. A job that should've lasted a few minutes took me about two seconds - long enough to take a photo.

Over the years I've worked in some pretty spooky places, including a derelict mental asylum that "Most Haunted" have filmed in. I've also sat in apparently haunted rooms in haunted houses and thought "What a load of bollocks", ...but this was different.

When I got back down to the busy banking hall to hand the keys back in I mentioned to the young lady "Its a bit spooky up there isn't it!" she replied that she'd never dare go up there, at which point the manager overheard me and came over to say that a number of contractors had been up there to do maintenance etc. - done the job in record time and refused to ever go up there again.

She went on to say that one of her customers was a catholic priest and a few months before she'd asked him to go to the upper floors and see what he thought. According to her he reckoned there was "at least one unfriendly presence upstairs that didn't want to be disturbed, don't go up there if you don't have to."

Once again, I'm not easily frightened and I'm a rational, logical bloke that spends half my time time in dank and dingey places - but this place was tangibly unpleasant. There were another two floors above where I went and if I'd been required to go there I wouldn't have gone - I would've said the stairs weren't safe.

Far more frightening than being sold house insurance I assure you.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 1:28, 2 replies)
couple of months ago
i went overdrawn by £20 for about 12 hours, as i sorted this out on a saturday the Black Horse Bank decides that i was overdrawn for 3 days and blah blah charged me circa £40. I go down this bank and some 20 year old herbert tells me i'm very naughty but they'll let me off this time. Now someone tell me that murder for this is acceptable because quite frankly when u bank with someone for over 25 years and have about 5 grand with that bank but one account is od by £20 it makes me want to be the incredible hulk's evil twin. No? Just me then.(yeah i'm drunk again, so what?)
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 0:58, Reply)
Walk into bank and up to ATM
Try to withdraw money from account, none there. Ah that's right, it's in the other account (same bank). Walk to tellar, can I have some money? No it's in the other account you need to transfer it online. WTF? No it's OK, you can use this terminal here. Fine. Tappy tappy tap, transfer. Walk back to ATM, withdraw money, go buy Thai food and beer.
(Days later)
Online, check balance, withdrawl there... with a new fee.
Oh yes, I've been charged a bank fee for using their computer.
*ggnnnnnnnnnnnnn* pop. There goes another vein.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 0:51, Reply)
Customer security?
My first bank account was set up just after I left school, not much going in of course but I felt all grown up to have one.
Then due to a combination of circumstances I ran away from home and lived rough for a short period.
There was a small amount in my account, i withdrew some cash the day I left to see me through , but I decided not to touch the rest unless it was an absolute emergency.
Eventually I returned home as I reckoned the violence at home was easier than sleeping under trees and pinching milk from doorsteps.
During the following months of recriminations my mum told me she had approached my bank to ask if I had made any withdrawals and where.
Apart from the first one I hadnt.
But the bank ( Barclays BTW, may they rot in a pit of untreated swine flu infected pig sewage) told my mum I had made a withdrawal from x town the week after i left.
And my mum went there and looked for me
A/ I had not and I was somewhere else entirely.
B/ how dare they give (false) info to someone else about my account.

No amount of pleading would convince my mum they were wrong and she had wasted her time looking for me there.

One good thing about living rough, even if only for a short time, was it toughened me up a bit.
I went into the bank and closed my account.
Then stood in the foyer and shouted to anyone coming in that Barclays had no privacy for their customers and gave out false info about customer accounts to anyone who asked.
Yes i know it was my mum, but even so, how dare they!
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 0:46, 2 replies)
Let the banks work for you
when I first came to merry England to work a decade ago a mate turned me onto offshore accounts, so I set up a company and account in jersey with HSBC. I worked for several years,(including one contract for the police) and invoiced from my jersey company tax free. However, as my gains mounted, I started to get paranoid, and when Barclays offshore jersey ratted out their clients to the UK government, I took action. I set up what's called a Private Interest foundation in Panama (Luxembourg do it as well but they are far more expensive to set up). It's sort of like a trust, but there are no 'beneficial owners' that you have to declare and it's pretty bulletproof under Panamanian Law. I then transferred share ownership of my jersey company to the trust. (FYI en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Private_Interest_Foundation). Both the Jersey company and the Foundation pay no tax on foreign income under their respective laws. So who is making the money. No one! I appear to work for free for the company. I can invoice people in pounds to HSBC or get cheques to jersey with a normal stamp, so it doesn't look too dodgy to clients. It costs around 1500 squid in fees per year for both company and Foundation, plus an extra two grand to set up(the hardest part was finding the cheapest fees for a 'nameplate' registered office in Jersey), so when your tax exceeds that amount it becomes worth it. And the money I invest in an online trading account www.internaxx.lu/ in Luxembourg, or use a company or private credit card to buy things.
I'm not writing to boast, just as food for thought for those who are thinking of something similar
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 0:41, 3 replies)
Pre Euro LOLs
Why do the Irish call their monetary unit The Punt?
Because it rhymes with Bank Manager.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 0:39, Reply)
Yep, they're all bastards,
But occasionally you get to fuck with them.
Many years back I'd been saving and saving and saving for a house and finally had enough together for a deposit.
I was, like Rob, utterly pissed off with my bank after years of neglect, abuse and spam.
So...
I get together with my mate the mortgage broker and we plan.
He goes off and finds the best rate possible, fortunately at a rival bank, then haggles and barters and customises it even more.
Then we sit down with both mortgages and I study.
Next I call my bank, arrange a meeting with the manager and inform him I want a mortgage.
"Wonderful we'd love to help!"
And so it begins.
Every point he made, I counter with a better version from the opposition.
Everything, for nearly an hour.
Until finally, sweating and defeated, he was forced to admit the only thing he had to offer was the fact we had history.
And I withdrew everything, closed my account, and left him sitting there looking very very sad.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 0:38, 2 replies)
Fuck the Co-Operative Bank.
They're called the caring bank, so you'd think they'd have less bullshit than the other banks, but no.

One of my brothers has very low-functioning Down's Syndrome. He can't talk, read, write or do maths, as his mental age is forever stuck at about 2 and a half years. Now that he's 21 our mum wanted to set up a bank account for him, so that it'll be easier for my parents and his Mencap carers to manage his finances (he needs round the clock care and that doesn't come cheaply).
The Co-Op was our first choice, but they just could not cope with the idea. Our mum wanted the account to be in his name but managed by her, as obviously bro can't do it himself. They didn't like that, and kept asking for bro to phone them or write to them, etc. despite repeated explanations that this just wasn't possible, and were very pained and flustered about the whole thing.

So we went to Barclay's instead. They had no problems with the concept of an account managed by someone other than the owner, and set it all up for us very smoothly. Stupid Co-Op.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 0:21, Reply)
Bank Robbery
I used to live in Rio de Janeiro a few years back, and still stay in contact with a few friends who live there. One of them emailed me 2 years ago with this story, which he swears is true (I've been trying to find a news report or anything on-line but can't at the moment).

Rochina is the largest favela (slum) in South America - its HUGE. A veritable parallel society has grown up there given years of governmental, municipal and societal neglect. Enterprising members of the community have built up business, rented out property to other favelados. At the same time, the ubiquitous urban drug trade has not left the place alone, and a large measure of control is exerted by the drug gangs.

Much like Mohammed Yunus' Grameen Bank, one local group had set up a bank, in which favelados could deposit money, and take out loans to fund business they were setting up (laundry's, grocery's etc). All very organic and within the community (although to what extent the drug gangs were/are involved is questionable). Anyway, one day all is proceeding well in the favela, the bank is open, people are doing their business when rushing in comes a gang of armed men, who proceed to rob the bank. They clear it out and make off with their loot. Thinking quickly, the owner of the bank alerts the local drug dealers, who form a posse and start chasing the robbers.

After a short while, and still in the favela, the posse of drug dealers catches up with the bank robbers. As you can probably imagine, the prospects for a group of out of favela bank robbers being caught by the local drug gang is not a particularly good one. Then, the case got more complicated...

The ad hoc law enforcement group (the drug gang) recognised most of the robbers - they were off duty city policemen. So, here you have the weird situation where a bank robbery carried out by some policemen is stopped by a gang of drug dealers. I'm not sure what happened to the police, but there's no love lost towards them, so I suspect they probably got seven bells of shit kicked out of them before they got out (if they were lucky).
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 0:19, 1 reply)
Not my story, but my parents.
I think my parents have one of the best "how we met" stories ever.

It was the late 70's and my father, who was in the Air Force, had just been transferred to Washington D.C. He was a bit of a ladies man back in the day, and he was always on the lookout for a pretty girl. He was making a deposit at the bank, and a young girl working as a teller there caught his eye. He went back there a few more times, always waiting a little extra so he could be at her window. They chatted and flirted a few times, and one day he decides he is going to ask her out.
Before he goes in, he writes a little note with a restaurant and time and his phone number, thinking he is so smooth doing it this way. He waits in line and slides the note under her window. She doesn't even bother to read it, assuming it is a holdup note, and presses the silent alarm. He is casually flirting with her while she is growing more terrified and confused wondering when he will ask her for the money.
The police show up soon and try to arrest my future father, the whole time he has no idea what is going on. (He's a wonderful guy, but a bit clueless.) Eventually he gets the cops to read his note, and the confusion is cleared up and they let him go. He got the date, and a few years later they were married with one of the coolest "how we met" stories ever.
(, Fri 17 Jul 2009, 0:04, 1 reply)
I actually can't complain about my bank at the moment.
I realised last week that I was being charged interest on my student overdraft, when I shouldn't be. So I went into the bank (Natwest if you care) to explain, fully expecting a six-week running battle with them required details of every transaction I've made over the last 5 years. But no, they just asked me when I left uni, and refunded me the money, which I'm just waiting to be credited now.

Considering the horror stories I've read on here already, this is verr nice :D
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 23:38, 4 replies)
The Free Overdraft
A few years ago, I traveled up north for a drink and drugs binge which ended up lasting 3 years and resulted in me returning home with a degree. My good friend Jim wanted in on the party, but had no desire for education. Not a problem - he was working for a large building society at the time, and so just requested to change branches, and landed a job in the city I was moving to.

He found himself a place to live and moved up a couple of weeks before me, and was on first name terms with the staff of the local boozer by the time I got there. It was in the boozer, on my first night there, that he casually asked a favour...

"Can you come in tomorrow and open an account? You don't have to use it, you can open it for a quid, and it'll help me reach my targets this month... and if you want to use it, you'll have a £1,000 overdraft."

Fair enough, I thought. It was his first month with a new manager, and he wanted to make a good impression. So the next day, I dutifully trotted down to the branch the next day and handed him one beer token. A bit of paper work, I waited round for ten minutes for him to finish work and we went to the pub. And that was that. I'd registered the account to my parent's address, so I didn't have the bother of blank statements coming through once a month, as I did with most of my unimportant post. My mum opened anything sent through to make sure it wasn't a bill/cash/court summons/letter bomb, and then binned it if it was junk. Within a matter of days, I'd forgotten all about it.

Fast forward one year - some friends who were backpacking around Australia phoned me when I was particularly pissed, and convinced me to go out and spend my summer with them. Admittedly, I didn't need much convincing - I had just ended a pretty horrendous relationship with a girl that I lived with, and was glad at the opportunity to get the fuck out of Dodge.

I went to Australia, had an awesome time, traveled, drank, saw sights, got laid. Everything a holiday should be. Until my parents called, sounding more than a little bit shaken.

My building society account, dormant for a year, was suddenly completely overdrawn, a few weeks after me leaving the country. My mum wanted to call the police - it was late, and so she couldn't call the branch.

"Calm down and call Jim," I told her. "He'll know what to do."

She did. He assured her he'd sort it out, I wouldn't be charged, and that he'd call her to confirm it was alright. "Don't bother calling the branch, it'll take ages - just leave it to me."

The next day he did call - it had all been a huge mix-up and all was back to normal. No need to panic.

I came back tanned, beer-bloated and happy, and Jim celebrated my return with an enthusiastic session in the pub. A few beers in, he told me the exact details of the "mix-up":

Jim was finishing work one night and had arranged to entertain a young hottie he'd been chatting up for a few weeks and had finally managed to get a date with her. The only problem was he was skint, and it was a few days before pay day. And so, Jim comes up with a grand plan. "I know, I'll wipe out the account Sloppy never uses, look absolutely minted, get her pissed, get in her pants." He could replace the money after pay day, wipe off overdraft charges, no harm done. FOOLPROOF. A bit unethical, taking money out of customer's bank account so that you can go out on the piss, but anyways.

Apparently two minutes after my Mum's phone call he hyperventilated and collapsed, and was shitting bricks at work until I'd returned to the country. If his manager or the police had caught wind of what happened, he was in deep, DEEP shit and could have been banned for working in banking for a long time, if not life.

After laughing so hard I thought I was going to rupture something, I made him buy the rounds for the rest of night for being such a cheeky bastard.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 23:38, 1 reply)
Getting a first time mortgage
Or not, as the case may be.

I'm 26, and earn a shade under 40 grand a year. I have 10k saved up, and would like to buy a cheap little place. Living in a cheap area of the country, I've seen some decent little houses for the 60-70k mark. My credit file is spotless (really - all zeroes). I have a couple of credit cards including an AmEx that's paid off in full each month. The limits on the two cards total £9k. FWIW, I had one credit card which I got rid of last year which had a 23k limit on it (ie before the credit crunch). I rate tart for 0%, if you're wondering about the credit cards. The AmEx is for cashback. Anyway... Contract mobile for the last 8 years. One current account, which at the mo has 5 grand in it.

My job? I'm a permanent (ie not on a 3 year contract or owt) employee in management at an academic institution. I own my car outright. I have no debt.

My rent: 600 quid a month. Plus bills. My mortgage would be around 450. Obviously, plus bills. I'd say it's fairly obvious I can afford said mortgage.

So, I applied for a mortgage. Thought I'd start with a look at 60 grand.

Mortgage application at the broker: Outright declined.
Mortgage application at the bank that I've had my current account with for the last 8 years: Outright declined.

Tell me, please, how am I a bad risk? I'd love to know.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 23:21, 12 replies)
when i say whoah, i mean WHOAH!
several years ago, when my cash was flowing a little better, i made monthly donations to a certain children's charity by direct debit. unfortunately, the cash flow dried up and i had to put a stop to these donations. i wrote to the charity, explaining my situation. i received a very nice letter in return, thanking me for what i had already given and wishing me well for the future.
i then phoned my bank, NatWest. i explained that i needed to cancel the direct debit payments, which they assured me they would take care of immediately.
imagine my surprise when, one month later, my statement showed a direct debit payment to the aforementioned charity! not wanting this to happen again, i decided to forgo the telephone and go to my bank in person. i told them of my displeasure at their inability to handle a simple instruction and demanded that this be rectified.
once again, i received their assurances that this would be taken care of. however, as they had "no record" of my previous instructions, a refund was not forthcoming.
fast forward another month. guess what? the same thing happened again! not only had they made another charity payment, but they had charged me £50 for being overdrawn by 2p!
angry? i was furious! i was so incensed by rage that i could have ridden a column of my own vitriolic flame to the bank. instead, i got a bus.
i demanded to see the branch manager, saying that, if he didn't see me now, he'd be seeing both me and my lawyer within the hour.
i informed him in no uncertain terms that i would not be paying a fee for being overdrawn, as it was clearly the fault of his bank. i also said that, if my direct debit wasn't cancelled there and then, i would sue. i said a great many other words, most of which would be spelled in genteel circles like this: *[email protected]"*!
my direct debit was cancelled, i didn't pay the fee and i've never had another problem with them in the 20 years i've been a customer.

still didn't get a fucking refund, though.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 23:17, 11 replies)
The tale from the other side.
When I were a wee nipper (about five years ago when I was 21) I got myself a job at a bank after university.

It was at a 香港 based bank. I was on the business executive team. This meant basically sales. I was a call monkey. Anyway, basically you were paid peanuts for doing the bread and butter stuff like setting up standing orders and providing account balances for people who basically have hands that are too fat and fingers that are too distended to use a keyboard and the internet.

The bonus money was in leads. If you could present people a choice and get them to ‘explore their borrowing needs’, then transfer them to the people who had a half an hour extra training, then you got a percentage cut of the interest in the capital that they borrowed. If it were for a mortgage then it was the same deal but obviously a bit more.

For setting up business accounts, you could get a cut if you set up a meeting between the clients and the specialist advisors in the branches as you provided the lead.

Basically you could earn xx times your monthly salary if you went about this in a businesslike and no nonsense fashion. There were no caps because clearly they wanted you to go mental. This sort of behaviour, on a multiplied microscopic level, obviously causes the banking crisis. But I was desperate for cash to pay of my humongous overdraft and the base salary was minimum wage.

So some foreign dude calls up and speaks to me. He wants to set up an account. He can’t give me his exact address or UK postcode because he doesn’t know it properly. He is from Dubai. He wants to deposit £100 Million pounds. I freak out because he wants all sorts of financial caboodle to go with it. I will get a percentage of this.

The system won’t let me set up his details as I can’t get the postcode to match the number he has given me. We have communication issues. He says he will just go down to his local HSBC bank. In Canary Wharf. I lose the lead.

He then hangs up.

Then I realise that I am a cunt for working in a money making arm of a bank. Now I work in a cat litter manufacturing plant testing for wee absorption.
(, Thu 16 Jul 2009, 23:07, 1 reply)

This question is now closed.

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