|Money,money, money:always sunny, in the banking world|
To Barclays Bank the other week to close a very small savings account that had now matured, and to transfer the money to our joint bank account in a different bank. I needed the funds to pay a builder. Ever mindful of the red-tapery that now exists in all public organisations (even those I own 48% of), I brought all the original documentation to prove the account existed.
But. The very young bank person, who could have been a Year 10 pupil in disguise, after asking me a heap of questions about my mother's maiden name, my date of birth, my shoe size and how many beans made 5, fiddled on her computer, studied the documentation, and then handed it back and told me I needed formal ID with a current photo of myself.
I produced my pensioner bus pass, which has a photo and serves as ID for practically everything. Not today. Drivers' license or passport were the preferred options. Sadly, I still have an old paper driving license, and my passport application was still lost in transit somewhere in the Passport Office.
Breathing slightly harder, I pointed out that WHY in the first place would I have the paperwork from the bank IF I was a scammer. And WHY, if I wasn't me, did I want to transfer the money to an account WHICH ALSO HAD THE SAME NAME AS I DID. As did my bus pass, my debit card, my library card, my John Lewis card and my CRB certificate.
Brick walls. It dawned on me that, given the bank's absurd parameters, I couldn't actually prove who I was, and therefore might never be able to get my money out. Arising with as much dignity as someone who does not exist can, I said I'd be back at the weekend. With relevant proof.
Saturday morning I returned, accompanied by BH, his driving license and passport. The Two Grumpy Old Sods were back in business! In his best official voice, honed over years of dealing with local government idiocy, BH informed the woman that HE was prepared to identify me, and HE had the right ID. He also had a wedding picture of us in his wallet.
We are both past masters at this sort of stuff, and can do threatening silence to Olympic standards, so eventually after a Higher Person was consulted, the sum of £1,250 was duly transferred from one bank to another. Reluctantly.
The irony of all this was that, had I banked online, I could have done the whole transaction without any hassle whatsoever. But I don't trust the bank's security. I still don't. But for different reasons.