27 Jun 2011

Banking red tape … or stupidity?

Today I went to Royal Bank, Carlton Centre to ‘reactivate’ a dormant account. Actually, 3 dormant accounts. After living in England for a number of years, there was no activity on these accounts, so they went dormant. Now, before I give you my tale of woe, let me first say, I reactivated these accounts when I was in Trinidad last year. The paperwork said so, and the bank card which was issued last year is another sign that the accounts were to be reactivated.

For some reason, known only to God and some mentally fucked up employee, this was never done. I was perplexed why I couldn’t use my card until I called last Wednesday to find out the accounts were still dormant. Needless to say, I couldn’t go to any branch to activate, only to to that branch. Who say First World?

Then I went in to encounter one Ms Roopan… I made the request that I wanted to reactivate my accounts,handing over the last 3 statements (for her to access the account numbers etc.). The first question out of her mouth was “Why do you want to activate your accounts?”

Okay, I was stunned into speechlessness. My mind refused to function, until after taking a deep breath and getting some oxygen flowing, the old greys swung into action and I responded, “What kind of stupid question is that?”

She goes, “What reason do you have for wanting to activate the accounts?”

Still a tad incredulous, but now running into Trini dotishness, I was adapting rapidly… “So I can use them.”

“For what?”

It came to mind to respond, “To launder drug money!” and see what would happen, but knowing how dotishness could escalate and not wanting to be ducking from duncey bullets and stray penises, I just said, “It’s 3 different accounts, so I have different reasons for wanting them activated.”

A momentary lull… all seemed to be going well until the forms went to a supervisor for her signature. She came to me and now asked that I provide a letter from my university to confirm I am a student, since I am not currently employed in Trinidad. Okay, it was a moment of temporary victory for the bank, blindsiding me with this piece of dotishness… but I asked whether I could get that info to them via email. The response was that it was not ‘normally done’… but since I am in Trinidad until nearly October (at which time I will not need a bank account anyway), she will accept the email.

Sadly to say, I was informed that that letter was needed to activate not only my business account (which I thought was the only reason) but also my mutual fund account and my savings account.

At this point, after standing there for 2 1/2 hours, putting up with this jackassness, my fuse blew. I asked for all my accounts to be closed. There are too many banks on the Rock for me to me putting up with this shit. Competition should make things better, not worse. If anything like this happens in future, I’ll have to go back to a trusted source… saving my money under Mrs Jumbie’s mattress.