Fingered by Which Bank?

Fingered by Which Bank?

It’s three AM. I’m sitting here, alone, at a bar, waiting for my bank to buy me a drink. Sound odd? Here, let me paint a picture…

Fact: at a neighbourly barbecue, it’s more socially acceptable to be a registered sex offender than to work for a bank. At least peddos have to report their movements to police. Bankers can go around fingering whoever they want, and with total impunity!

Rewind some hundred days. Before I left, I arranged a travel money card – ostensibly to save fees on the road. Through which bank? Yeah. Which bank indeed.

Last month I changed five-hundred Aussie dollars into Thai baht. Then I drew out 8,000 baht – the maximum withdrawal. My cost breakdown is below. But first, a warning: the following text describes a graphic and non-consensual sex scene. Sensitive readers may wish to look away…

First, the penetration. My bank hit me with ‘the applicable Visa exchange rate…plus 5.25 per-cent’. But what’s the applicable rate? Well, the rate is based on the interbank forex rate…plus a vig of around 2 per-cent. That’s their spread between the peak buy and sell price for the day. It’s how they make money without explicitly docking you a transaction fee.

Next, the withdrawal. My bank charged me 80 baht to withdraw my own money.  This cost around AUD 3.20. Then, on top of that, the local bank charged a further 220 baht for the privilege – worth a further AUD 8.90. So I’d been hit with a fair slap. And, due to the withdrawal limit, that’s a cost I’d have to see twice.

Then, the clean up. All in all, I gave Visa ten bucks on the rate, and my bank helped themselves to another twenty-six. Add to that the twenty-five bucks in fees, and I leaked sixty dollars. Wow. That’s messy. Then it occurred to me: the funds I loaded aren’t earning any interest. Reality struck – I’m being used. I feel violated. I’m just another notch in their belt. They don’t care about me at all…

So, Commonwealth Bank, in future, if you have to fuck me, at least have the decency to buy me a drink first…

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