Thursday, September 15, 2011

Don't Bank on It

Having to do errands while I'm trying to finish my PhD thesis in the next two weeks is stressful because the errands are always time consuming ... but I don't really mind when the errands get done ... today I made the mistake of going to NBK to deposit my scholarship check. Guess how that went?

Getting this scholarship money is proving to be more difficult than I thought it would be. Getting the check itself was easy enough, and I thought it would be smooth sailing from there. Shame on me for thinking that bank work would actually be easy.

In London I took the check (in my name) and forms of ID to Lloyd's TSB (the issuing bank of the check). In my previous experience cashing a check in the States that was all that I would need. However, this experience taught me that in the UK (not just at this particular bank branch the bank employee told me) you need to have an account in that bank in order to receive the cash ... because first they will deposit into the account and then you need to fill out a withdrawal form and then they can withdraw the cash.

Me: If you were depositing the money in my account, wouldn't you note that the money came from the issuer's account?
Bank: Yes
Me: So why don't you just get the money from that account and give it to me instead of all the unnecessary steps in the middle.
Bank: We don't do it that way
Me: I don't live in the country, nor do I have an account in England. What do you suggest I do
Bank: You should go to the issuer and ask them to give you cash.

I'm sure the British Association of Applied Linguistics is going to be thrilled by that request.

I asked D (who works at NBK - the National Bank of Kuwait) to look into what would be involved in depositing the check in my account here. He asked and they said - 3 days for it to be cashed; no charge at all.

Great news right?
Correct news? Of course not.

Today's exchange at the bank:
Me: I'd like to deposit this check into my account.
Bank: Ok. Oh. Only your first and last name are written here.
Me: Yes, that's my name.
Bank: Well, we need a minimum of three names listed.
Me: But that's my name.
Bank: Can I see your civil ID? {I hand it to her} See, it lists these names as well (all in Arabic)
Me: That's not my name. That's my father's name that has just been added to the rest of my name, but as you can see in my passport, this is my name. This is what I use as my ID since the locally issued Arabic ID is not really considered valid anywhere else.
Bank: Hmmm, well, we still need three names. Besides, are you sure you want to deposit this check? It'll take at least 40 days and we'll charge 7 KD.

I can't go on with the exchange because just typing it out is pissing me off even more.

Her advice was also to go back to BAAL and figure something out with them ...

So not only was the visit to the bank a waste of time but it was also frustrating and stressful. This is not the frame of mind to be in when trying to write.


Kim said...

Holy crap! What finally happened?

Anonymous said...

I understand. I worked in Kuwait for 7 years and had direct deposit with KNB.After coming back to the states two years ago,I tried to empty out my ATM account,but the date on my card had expired and it wouldn't work.Their NY office had me to fill out a request,but they said my visa had expired so it couldn't be done.I then filled out a request to close my account and to wire the balance into my US account.This has been going on for over a year now and they refuse to respond to me or the NY branch.I can't get any help from the US because the account was opened out of country and it's up to Kuwait.They have elected to do nothing and to steal my funds.Watch out for these crooks and make sure you get all of your money out of their bank before you leave there.Why does this not surprise me?Arlis Timmons