|Euro Account Part 2.
29 Aug 2009
It is a moot point whether bankers or Members of Parliament are held in the lowest public esteem, so an article from one attacking the other is like an end-of-season grudge match between two teams at the bottom of the league. But here goes.
Readers may remember that, nearly a year ago, I tried to withdraw some euros from a euro account. The euro account had been set up in the dim and distant past to settle an invoice from Ireland. A small balance had been left in it, and the proceeds of growth were declared to and shared with Her Majesty’s Customs and Revenue. Apart from the annual droplet of interest, it was a dormant account and risked being swept up in the legislation that is proposed to either help pay off the national debt, and make good the hole in the lottery caused by the Olympics.
In January, with the decline in the fortunes of the pound and the relative strength of the Euro, a window of opportunity presented itself to spend these euros on a forthcoming cultural visit to Europe before they were confiscated. But while the bank had been happy to look after my euros, it had grown so fond of them that it was reluctant to say good-bye. Repayment in euros was declined, and I was told I would have to sell my euros and buy sterling; and then sell the sterling to buy the euros for my cultural needs. Only when I threatened to go public with the knowledge that deposits were not being repaid was progress made. (At the time, there had been a run on the banks). My experience was shared with readers of the website.
Either the public relations firm that keeps tabs on criticisms of the bank that appear in the public domain reported the saga, or one of my many conversations with the employees of the bank that had refused to let me have my euros back percolated up the management chain. But there has been a result.
Eight months after the incident, I got a letter from my bank making it clear that there would be never be a repetition of this unhappy incident. They were closing all their currency accounts. If I wanted to keep my euros, I would have to take my business elsewhere. My euro account with them will be closed at the end of the month.
Bankers 1, Members of Parliament 0.