In case you missed this news on a Sunday.... From the BBC News: HSBC imposes restrictions on large cash withdrawals - "restrictions" as in, they want a reason as well as documentation regarding your intended withdrawal.
Customers of HSBC have been stopped from taking out as little as £5,000, because the bank has been requiring that depositors give them a "satisfactory explanation" of what they intend to use the money for. In order to comply, customers were told in some cases they needed a letter or other form of documentation. For example, a "Peter from Wiltshire" was told he needed to provide "booking receipts" for his travel plans.
From the article: "Belinda Bell is another customer who was initially denied her cash, in her case to pay her builder. She told Money Box she had to provide the builder's quote."
The bank claims it is changing its policy due to customer complaints. The question is, why did they make such a policy in the first place? Can't cover the deposits? Or just the wannabe Big Brother corporate mega-state rearing its control freak head?
On a personal note: I don't have much money in the banking system, and I spread my money across two banks and one credit union. I recently had a problem where the state of California docked one of my bank accounts for a tax payment on a corporation I once co-owned and was shut down over 10 years ago. I thought we (my former business partner and I) had paid all the taxes owed. I realize this is partly my fault due to my aversion to bookkeeping, but I can't believe they took over 10 years to take care of this! The state of California somehow never found my Texas address to notify me of the back taxes, but magically discovered one of my bank accounts and took all the money they wanted out of it without my foreknowledge.
It was easy enough to call them to remove the lien and get on a payment plan, but I was very irritated they did not try to notify me first. Thanks, California, I now have a black mark on my credit report due to your inability to find an address. It turns out they were notifying me at an address I had not lived at since...get this...2001. My California driver's license, which is probably still valid, has my second to last California address on it. I also had been registered to vote at my last California address. It wouldn't be too difficult for them to find me...if they had really wanted to.
Clearly, California has to be desperate for money if it is going after defunct businesses for just a few thousand dollars in back taxes. I half wonder if they wanted to avoid finding me so they could justify taking over my bank account. Banks must also be getting pretty desperate, if they are trying to hold on to their funds as tightly as possible with all of these ridiculous rules and withdrawal limits. The bottom line is, I simply don't trust that any money I put in a bank account is going to be there or be accessible. If the bank doesn't take it, the government will.
I'm speaking to the choir here. You know the score. But I saw this news and wanted to post it up for your chewing fodder.
Stephanie blogs sporadically at a number of websites, including Freeople and Free Thinking Christianity.