Sunday, September 5, 2010

What the ... banking bullshit 2?!?!?

Then I told my niece about an incident when trying to transfer money home. In all my years in Korea I never had a problem wiring money home until a new guy started working at my bank in 2008. (By new guy I mean new to the bank. Not new to banking.) He had great English, but was a bit of a dick.

Up to that point I had been wiring money to my bank account in Canada every month for 7 years. They never needed to see my passport as long as I had my Alien Registration Card (ARC) with me. Without an ARC they would need your passport. Basically, they photocopy the picture page, or front of the card, to put with your paperwork. To keep track of how much money you send out of the country.

Well this guy seemed to want to make a name for himself or put the foreigner in his place. When I gave him my ARC he asked for my passport. I don't carry my passport with me. According to Immigration you do NOT need to carry or present your passport if you have a valid ARC. The bank should accept the ARC. Well, Mr. Attitude didn't agree with that. He started telling me that the LAW, funny how the banks always seem to fall back on this in the hopes it will scare the foreigner off, that they HAD to photocopy my passport picture page. It was THE LAW. He actually spent 10 minutes arguing with me about it. THEN he said that THIS time he would put it through but from now on I had to bring my passport.

At that point I told him to fuck off. If I believed him and it was THE LAW then he couldn't just "do it this time." Which means he was lying about it being THE LAW and my ARC was acceptable. The bank had never needed my passport before. Immigration said the ARC was good enough. There was NO LAW saying it had to be the passport. If he was going to try jerking me around I would go elsewhere, after going over his head.

For some strange reason he continued trying to argue about it with me. He went on about how it was illegal. Blah blah blah. I stood up telling him he was an asshole. At this point the bank guard, she is a combination guard and info person, came over to see what was wrong. He babbled at her in Korean. Her English isn't that good so I used my bad Korean to tell her the guy was an asshole and asked for the number for the bank manager.

At that point he started to change his tune. He realized I was going to be complaining over his head. I think he also realized he might be ... wrong. He started sputtering out excuses. It was a misunderstanding!!!! It was too late though, he had showed his ass.

I went to work and talked with my boss about what happened. He called the branch manager for me and told him what happened. I was right, the ARC was perfectly acceptable. The guy should have processed my transfer no problem. The manager apologized through my boss. I accepted, and had my boss tell him that the new guy needed a refresher on bank policies.

I kept banking there. Until this twat I had no problems transferring money, and had none after that. It was kind of funny when he was my teller again and had to put the money transfer through the PROPER way. I could have rubbed it in, part of me says I should have, but I didn't.


  1. That is bullshit. I've had problems sending money home too. In the past I have worked with two banks to send money home: the Korea Exchange bank, and Gyeongnam Bank.

    KEB has always been pretty good for sending money home, since they specifically deal with that, but I have had some problems with Gyeongnam bank.

    I usually sent money home from the Gyeongnam bank that is near my school, since I can just go there during lunch or off classes. Things would usually work out pretty well there, except that it would usually take an hour of the guy running back and forth to make copies. Another time I went to a different branch of the same bank to send money home. These people were stupid and it ended up that they couldn't complete the transaction. It took them a good hour of trying before they finally just gave up. (I also had to deal with some pushy bitch who kept on looking over my shoulder at my personal info.)

    After getting married I don't ever have enough money to send home any more. When I do I just got the cheap route and stuff hundred dollar bills into envelopes, and mail them to my parents, who deposit the cash into my bank account. If you only send home a hundred bucks at a time it is the way to go. It beats spending a 20,000 won bank fee. (What you gotta pay a five percent fee?)

  2. But one nice thing about Korean banks. No overdraft charges.

  3. This kind of thing where they try to prevent you from sending money overseas always confounded me. They're losing commission and transfer fees due to kimchi patriots at the counter wanting to keep money in Korea.
    Why isn't the branch manager not clipping them around the ears?
    I've had 2 expressly confounding experiences with Korean banks
    1, I was told at Kookmin I needed payslips for sending something like 200 pounds. Did they think I was a money launderer?
    2, I was told I needed a wedding certificate to open a Standard Chartered bank account as my ARC wasn't sufficient proof of address.
    My wife stepped in each time. First time I didn't care , second time I found the process extrememly condescending. I'm still waiting for a reply to the complaint I wrote to Standard Chartered stating I was an investor and I was taking my business elsewhere etc etc.
    I don't understand Korean banking at all. There's too much scope for arbitrary nonsense. I wonder if banks know what's going on at all in the branches. I don't think sending business away can go down very well. Or maybe it's a continued reaction to the number of foreigners in Seoul who abused credit cards here then split. There were quite a few.
    Some banks do have expat banking services. I did some classes at Shinhan for employees setting up an expat banking services section. You could get credit card services etc etc. The catch was you needed to deposit 50 million.

  4. 3gyupsal you can send a money order home too ... but that would require another post. What a headache.

    Hate the assholes trying to look at your stuff, or butt in while you are dealing with a teller.

  5. Anonymous

    You pretty much summed up what my niece said. They are screwing themselves over for expat business and that means they are losing money.

    The link I put in the other banking thread ... well they looked into all those "problems" that banks cite when saying why the banks don't trust foreigners. They found the problems to be myths. They do happen but not to the degree that people make it sound.

    When I had a VISA from CHB/SHB I COULDN'T pay it outside of Korea! I was in Canada for a few months in 2005. I had the money in my account in Korea but didn't have internet banking at the time. Getting it paid was a pain and would require a separate post.

    You would figure VISA is an international company you can pay anywhere. Nope. The Korean cards are tied to the korean bank and you can only pay it at your bank. Bloody stupid.

  6. I remember the banks made $50 whenever I sent money home. The Korean bank made $25, and so did the CDN Bank.
    But the Korean Bank had THE cutest security guard I've ever seen.
    Imagine the sweetest Korean hottie ever to enter your dreams... and put a big gun on her hip. I alays wanted to be frisked by her...

  7. Ah Stig..that made me nostalgic. I remember cute bank security guards. Damn, you could put a gun of everybody's hip who doesn't handle money as far I care ^^
    I went to a shooting range and used the police issue revolver, it's very, very point and shoot.

  8. Mmmmm ... women in uniform ... with guns. :)

  9. Amen. One of my best mornings in Korea was when everyone at YBM had to go down to Seoul Immi to get their prints done. Still remember those soft hands. I think South Korean civil servants have rather dowdy uniforms though. North Korean uniforms are much better in colour (kingfisher blue, woohoo!)detail and intended fit.

  10. Now I feel the need to exercise now. :)