Today we decided to take all our money out of the bank, and thought – let’s have a little fun in the process. We’d phoned ahead to tell them that we’d be taking our money out in case they would use the excuse of requiring notice. They said if we wanted certain denominations that they would need notice or we could accept whatever denominations that the bank had as long as we had ID. We chose the latter.
On arrival at the bank we presented 2 expired driving licenses (both expired 2010) and 2 expired passports (both expired 2013), and a valid bank debit card. These are the only pieces of paper that remain from the days past when we played in the system. They asked what we wanted the money for, are we sure we want to withdraw it and, if it’s to pay someone could the bank write a cheque to them? I said the money is for me. They said they couldn’t release our money because our driving licenses had expired and they required photo ID. Let the fun begin…
At this point I demanded to see the manager. The manager showed behind the glass screen and said, we can’t give you your money because you have no valid ID. I said what do you mean.. you can’t give me my money because I don’t have a valid driving license? I said then, I’m going to have to call the police if you are refusing to hand over my money. She said if the police come they’ll fine you for having an expired driving license, I said, please call them and we’ll see. This was in the main area of the bank and it was obvious that they didn’t want other customers overhearing.
They offered us an increase in the daily amount that could be withdrawn from a cash point machine which would mean we would have to find a cash point each day for several days in order to withdraw our money. I said this was not good enough, I think we’ll have to involve the police. Then they said come into the back room and we can discuss it. We agreed. The lady manager then showed us into a back office and said that she had contacted her boss and he would arrive soon.
While waiting for the manager’s boss we took the opportunity to educate the lady. I explained that I understood the security steps they needed to take, but a single digit on a piece of plastic was no security, and no replacement for the ultimate proof that I was indeed me, sitting in front of her. I went on to explain Babylon is Fallen, the name, the birth certificate, laws, statutes etc. I threw a bit of Blacks Law at her which she googled, and she said she had a copy at home and would look it up. I asked her if she would like to take a photograph of me and use that and she could then clearly see that the photo was me because she’d have just taken it. She said, well it’s not really the photo, it’s the expiry date, so I said if she lent me her pen I would change the date to whatever she wanted.
She actually got it rather quickly, and she understood what we were revealing. I asked her if she understood that by asking me for identity she was committing a crime by attempting to get me to act in fraud by claiming that I was the legal fiction that I had just explained to her. She agreed that she understood and that they would try and find another way of doing it.
She got on the phone; I assume to her manager and left the room for some time. When she returned she apologized for the delay, and said her manager would be here shortly.
The boss arrived, asked some trivial questions in the guise of “doing his job” which I batted back with a little sting in the tail. Things like the fact that it’s no longer possible to speak to a branch over the phone, and how it appears that the bank is trying to distance itself from its customers, he said, the bank was not trying to do that… I said no you’re right, it has managed to do that already and so doesn’t need to try any more.
I told him that the lady manager now understood certain things and that she would no doubt enlighten him.
They politely lead us back to the counter, asked what denominations we would like and proceeded to count out the money and placed it in envelopes for us. We thanked the lady manager, and her boss. She said she would Google Babylon is Fallen.