Banking VENT be warned.
I love banking, it's like sport to me.
My biggest fear is identity theft. Two reasons is its extremely easy for the seasoned practitioners to do and it is so devastating financially.
I unfortunately have seen it done.
I organise my bank accounts like a maze.
I have my landing account, which is where my international transactions land. This bank is fully aware and versed in my business so I never have any money laundering or suspicious activity holds on my accounts.
This account has one card and no online access and can be only accessed in branch. All transfers from this account are done with bank cheques because I can draw unlimited for free.
Then I hold a separate bank account for my every day chequing with a separate bank. This account hold my monthly living money like 4 weeks food, gas, spending and rent. I have two cards (my wife and me) and internet banking on this account.
Then I have my cash saving accounts at different banks again. These accounts have one card access (which lives in a lockbox in the safe), no online access, no phone access and I only ever access them one day a month to deposit a bank cheque from my landing account.
The main security is ALL accounts require both my wife and I be there for anything over $5000.00
and it's in branch access only, with passport and DL id only.
Some would say excessive but when you speak with someone who has had their credit ruined by identity theft you can never be too cautious.
The two main things an identity thief needs are as much information about you as they can get and a lazy call centre employee.
They will call right before lunch or at closing on Fridays. Every time they hear no, they hang up and call back and get someone new. They play the odds and 9/10 times they will get a credit card in your name or a loan approved or a cash transfer.
I get no paper statements mailed out ever and everything we have is in a document safe, in the house safe.
Every account has Strict notes added that no additional cards or services can be opened without both of us present, in branch with the required ID.
Additionally nobody knows who we bank with, what accounts we hold or how much is in them.
I think I can count on one hand people who know I'm 29 years old and not born in this country.
We once lived in a huge apartment building and it had big communal rubbish bins. People would just chuck bank statements, recipes, pay slips, everything in these bins where anyone could scrounge them up.
My system isn't perfect or bullet proof but it certainly makes it that much harder to get at my money or my credit.
But my banks have been terrible lately, despite banking at various different banks they all pull the same revenue raising tricks.
I maintain certain balances in which ever account I hold to get unlimited free transactions and NO monthly fees. Basically all my banking is free, just the way I like it
I logged in and see a completely new account opened and its $5.00 in the negative.
Explanation: This was a free account that came bundled with your original service that we have changed to a $5.00 a month fee.
My response "Can you show me where you adequately advised me your product was changing and if I wished to continue to hold it?"
"Nobody was advised of the change because the product didn't change just the fee that was traditionally waived with your minimum balance is now not waived"
"I would like you to reverse the fee and close that account"
"we cannot do that, if you want me to close the account I will have to pay the arrears out of your other account"
"fine, if you are not going to forgive the fee you can close the my other account and I will just simply bank with someone else who won't pull this shit" She went and spoke with her manager and returned and said no problem, that she would waive the fee and close the account.
No problem. Wrong.
Get home and log in to see she took the $5.00 out of my normal account.
Go back to bank and get the $5.00 returned to my original account.
Go home and find they put the $5.00 back into my account but charged me a $2.51 "fee" for reversing the charge.
At this point my diplomacy is evaporating. I ask to speak with the branch manager. I tell her I want the same balance my week started with and if this shit doesn't stop I will close my account immediately.
Of course it's all been just a big "mistake" and it's easy to reverse.
When I mentioned all the driving around to some people we know they said it was only $5.00/$2.51 why did I bother.
I suspect that's what the banks count on. $5.00 here and there x 20 000 people is a nice little stack of money.
We work very hard for our income and we assume enormous amounts of risk to get it. That is my money. They have literally put their fingers in my pocket and helped themselves to money they have not done anything to earn.do they help me pay the bills when it comes time?
In a reverse complaint we have started receiving interest payments from a Credit union we hold money with and it's now up to around $120.00 a month and will climb to $250.00 a month by the end of the year.
I had no idea this money was there until they mailed a statement to my address (again something I have made every effort to stop).
I have decided to plough it back into CU equity shares. One reason is I can redeem them at any time for the exact price I paid and secondly I get a decent dividend with the lowest risk and the money is basically free.
I will ask next month when I am in there what last year's dividend payout was.
Banking VENT be warned.