Monday, June 01, 2015


I'm really more of an online banking sort of girl - but a few times a year I have to make deposits so I go into the bank. Since the only branch of Citibank in my city is closing this month I stopped in today to deposit my small tax refund from the State. I've never known a city that didn't have at least one branch for every bank alive in their town. I think that the branch is closing is unusual in itself. The whole time I've been alive, banks only opened more branches. Not close them down.

I'd grown sort of close the girls because they had been working there for more than 20 years. It was the first life-ers I'd seen at a bank. Ever. You just get used to seeing them all the time. And I have an affection for them because my mom worked at a bank as a courier when I was growing up.

This one girl I thought I was going to make my friend because we had been bonding over the hatred of this administration until she told me she was voting for Hilary. Then I was all out.

I used to be the kind of girl that could look past something like that. I mean, I actually voted for Bill twice! I think all the really good conservatives come from a very liberal upbringing. And I came directly from the welfare system these people put into place. My mom was just shy of 15 when she had me. My grandmother was on welfare her whole life.

Anyway. This girl and I had grown accustomed to whispering to each other because you can't say you hate this administration without being racist. I don't care because I was born after the civil right era and don't have any white guilt. My family was poor. There is no way we owned slaves. But I respect that other people might not feel the same way.

Anyway. All of a sudden she leaned forward to tell me that if you don't have an ATM card from the bank, and you wanted to break a 20 - the bank would ask you for your social security number, drivers licence and a whole host of other personal information. She goes on to say - already this morning people stopped using the bank because they didn't want to give that info. I was like - well.. yeah.

She really didn't understand why because "if you don't have anything to hide" .... why wouldn't you give that information?

My feeling was - well... it depends how on much money you are talking about. If it's 20 bucks - fuck you. I didn't say eff u. But almost. She replied - even for 20 bucks! The bank told her it was due to money laundering.

Look, if you are laundering money 20 bucks at a time - you are effing doing it wrong. That seems like the most amount of effort you could possibly put in, and people are kinda lazy.

Of course, I've read a about a lot of other countries doing this too to force people into not using cash. I'm not sure what the real reason is, but I find it really effing creepy. She must also find it kinda weird, because I was just depositing a check. She volunteered this information.


  1. "If you are laundering money 20 bucks at a time - you are effing doing it wrong." HA! Right?

    The money laundering thing is just an excuse to pry even more information out of our day to day lives, nothing more.

    And as far as not having a branch for your bank. I haven't had a local branch with my bank in years. You can deposit checks with the image now and I can use any ATM for free up to 4 times a month, which is more than I would ever need. I think bank branches will eventually become less common as we move toward a truly digital transaction age.

  2. "And as far as not having a branch for your bank. I haven't had a local branch with my bank in years. You can deposit checks with the image now and I can use any ATM for free up to 4 times a month,"

    Oh yeah! I guess I forget banks do that now even though there are commercials all the time. I'm still fairly skittish about using my phone for banking. I didn't know they waived fees for foreign ATM's a few times a month though. Thanks for that. Very helpful. You used to rack up a lot of fees that way, but there are branches all over the Bay Area - so it isn't that hard to find one and avoid them. It's just pretty unusual you have to leave town to find a branch. I think my burb is just small enough they didn't have two branches or something.

    In regards to the snooping, I tend to agree with you. Mr S. thinks it's just a way to say we don't want your stupid change making business. I didn't know if all banks are doing this now, or just Citibank. It used to be that banks competed with each other. A single bank used to not get away with that, because you just left for a bank that courted you away if that happened.

  3. Cash back is free too. I do that sometimes at the grocery store or wherever. Unless I need an ridiculous amount of cash (don't know why I would) it's always worked out pretty well. ;)

  4. Being in finance gives me a unique perspective On this one. Definitely not related to money laundry unless they wanted to deposit the $20 changing one bill into several wouldn't clean the funds. What this really is about is a big push right now from most banks to move their customer's online. The people who Insist on a teller are not only the most expensive, but also have the least amount of money. Basically, they are incentivizing their worst customers to leave or move online. DF

  5. Basically.... they don't want your stupid change making business. Mr S. wins. Thanks!