Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Banking blues

Today I went into my bank to pay a cheque made out to my husband into his bank account – at his request, I might add.
I had intended to fill out a paying-in slip, put the slip and the cheque in one of those special paying in envelopes, drop it through the appropriate slot in the wall and go on my way (and take the risk of not having a receipt, but that is by the by).
There were no paying in envelopes, so I had to queue. When I was called to the counter I handed over the cheque and the paying-in slip and remarked that there were no envelopes.
The female counter clerk did not reply. Instead she scrutinised the cheque and the paying in slip. Then she asked if I was paying the cheque in for someone.
As the cheque was made out to a Mr M So and So, and I had written that the name on the account for the cheque to be paid into was Mr M So and So, and as I had signed myself something else entirely (to my husband’s annoyance I have retained my maiden name), I thought this was pretty obvious. But I just said: ‘Yes – for my husband.’
I then volunteered that if she checked the records on her computer she would see that besides his personal account – the one she had the details of on the paying in slip – my husband also had a joint account with me, the person who had signed the slip.
Instead she asked me: ‘To what is this referring?’
I didn’t know what she meant and said so. She then asked what the cheque was for – was it an insurance claim? I assume she associated the name of company on the cheque with insurance.
By now I was getting rather irritated. What business was it of hers? Is it now Lloyds bank policy to ask everyone paying in a cheque what they are getting the money for?
I expect I looked irritated because she volunteered that she was only asking as it was rather a large amount.
I resisted the temptation to tell her that it might seem like a large amount for a bank clerk (sorry, customer service assistant) but it was small change to me.
I also resisted the temptation to tell her it was a payment for supplying lap dancers and escorts after the company’s annual general meeting.
And as I couldn’t actually remember what it was for (my eyes tend to glaze over when my husband starts talking about investment, savings and pensions) I made something up about a savings bond which seemed to satisfy her.
But now I think I was too much of a wimp. This is a bank that has had our business for more than 30 years. And not just our personal business, but our company business too.
We used to get a proper signed Christmas card from a proper old fashioned bank manager. And now I am quizzed by someone who thinks I’m an embezzler (is there such a thing) or a money launderer. All because I want to pay in a cheque to the account of the person it was made out to.
Lloyds TSB take note. I’m not sentimental. From now on it’s three strikes and you’re out.

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