Lemme just share my favorite joke about the banking industry:
A little old lady goes into a bank and says she wants to open a savings account. The account person asks her how much she would like to deposit to open the account, and the little old lady says, “Three million dollars.”
The account person is startled, and says, “In what form?” and the little old lady says, “Cash. I’ve got it here in this bag.” The account person looks and, sure enough, the lady has a big grocery bag chock full of green bills with big denominations.
This is a highly unusual event, and the account person excuses herself to get the president of the bank to handle this one. He arrives, and escorts the little old lady to his office to handle it personally.
Once in his office, he asks the little old lady where she got so much money.
She says, “Gambling.”
“Gambling?” he says. “What sort of gambling?”
“Oh, I make bets with people on all sorts of things, and I usually win. For example, I’ve got one hundred thousand dollars right here that says by noon tomorrow, your balls will be square, and I’ll even give you four to one odds. You got twenty five thousand dollars you’d be willing to wager on that?” she asks.
The bank president is shocked at this sort of thing coming from a sweet little old lady, but he didn’t get to be the president of the bank without knowing something about money. “I suppose I could come up with enough to cover that sort of wager, but I wouldn’t feel right taking it from you. There’s no way you can win a bet like that!”
The little old lady just shakes the bag, and says, “I know what I’m doing. I can afford to lose, though I’m not going to. Is it a bet?”
“Okay, have it your way,” says the president, and they shook hands on it.
“See you at eleven-fifty-five tomorrow morning,” says the little old lady, and with that she leaves.
The next morning at 11:55, the little old lady arrives with a younger man in a three-piece suit, and is escorted to the bank president’s office. The president is a nervous wreck, though a happy one. He’s gotten almost no sleep last night, waking every few minutes to feel his balls to check for impending squareness, but nothing happened all night. He has checked hundreds of times that morning, but still nothing.
When the little old lady arrives, he starts to relax, knowing he has won.
“Come in, please have a seat! Who might this gentleman be?” says the president.
“He’s my lawyer. For a bet of this size I want to have a witness. Any objections?”
“No, perfectly understandable,” says the president. “Well, it’s now noon, and I’m still unchanged, so I guess I win!”
“Not so fast!” says the little old lady. “For a hundred grand I want to verify things personally! Please drop your pants.”
The bank president is a bit flustered, but agrees that in her position he’d want proof as well, so he drops his pants. The little old lady goes over to him and reaches out to feel the organs in question.
“Okay, you win, here’s your hundred grand,” says the little old lady, handing over a bag of bills. As she does so, her lawyer starts banging his head against the wall and moaning.
“What’s wrong with him?” asks the bank president.
“Oh, he’s just upset. Poor loser if you ask me. You see, we had a million dollar bet that I would have the President of the bank by the balls by noon today.”
You just gotta love them. They practically put you in debt for life from credit cards, and in addition to that there are mysterious fees for anything and everything which no one but people in the banking industry would understand.
I, for one, cannot comprehend the fees that are charged to me, and I have three bank accounts, which makes it worse. I usually don’t care much about that but a recent experience left me with more than a bad taste in my mouth.
Keep in mind that I used the SAME bank on the SAME day for this:
1. I withdrew RM 5,000 from an ATM (my max limit)
2. I used a credit card to withdraw ANOTHER RM 5,000 from my credit card inside the Genting casino (max)
3. Within 30 minutes, I withdrew RM 21,000 from my savings account from their branch in Genting (ALL the money in my account)
Hello? I know it’s not your responsibility to be your customer’s brother’s keeper but how on Earth can I make that last RM 21,000 withdrawal, emptying my account, when I was visibly intoxicated, at a casino, and you know very well that I have done RM 31,000 in withdrawals in a day.
I think I have a set a limit to my daily withdrawals but all I had to do was to waltz in, sign for a RM 21,000 withdrawal, pass it to the bank personnel and ABRACADABRA:
RM 21,000 in RM 100 notes appeared in front of me.
No checks at all! I just had to fill in my account number, name and pass them my MyKad and in 5 minutes, I was out of the bank with more than 20k in cash.
…and the best part was, I just scribbled my signature coz I was too intoxicated to sign.
What if someone else got hold of my account number? I would have lost RM 21,000 just like that. Besides, I’m pretty sure I have set a limit to my daily withdrawals (gotta check on this) from one of my ex-girlfriend’s advice due to my impulsive nature.
I would love to explore the option of contesting that 21k withdrawal and approval in just 5 minutes when I was less-than-sober but I don’t have enough money now to hire a lawyer to look into it. :(
Also, I believe in personal responsibility, and I take all the blame for that. However, things could have been done better. A RM 21,000 account emptying withdrawal after my ATM and credit card limit has been maxed out should have raised a red flag no?
I also remember the time when I had to wait in queue for ages to get my ATM card replaced when I lost it. There was one perfectly good counter with the person doing nothing but taking PERSONAL phone calls, but noooo that counter was deemed CLOSED (with the appropriate signage to show that it was indeed, CLOSED for all and sunder to see). My primary bank is also extremely slow in getting my credit card approved for overseas use as I travel quite a lot. Waiting on the phone for 30 minutes (!!!) is not uncommon. :(
I know people who are saddled with debt from credit cards, fast personal loan approvals (WTF did you actually check my credit before you did that?) and other dubious things that the banking institution do (and get away with).
It makes me wonder though…am I with the wrong banks? Can Banking Be Better?