Thursday, June 21, 2007
I went into Ulster Bank this morning to wire some funds to a family member who's in a bit of a crisis. The nice bank employee came back to me with my completed form saying, "We need you to fill this part out." The Description of Payment box had been left blank, since I didn't think it mattered. "You have to say why you're transferring the money." She looked at me expectantly, holding out her pen. When I described why the family member needed the funds, the girl looked a bit puzzled.
I asked, "How about I just say, 'Gift for...'?"
With a clear sense of relief, she nodded aggressively. "Yes, yes, that sounds great."
Back at home, I've not yet found anything saying that a bank has the right to demand this information. Maybe it's going to be used for wallpapering a room, or buying that large collection of stuffed shark hand puppets. The industrial-sized container of condoms for that weekend exploring your true self. Whatever.
Does the EU allow this sort of demand for detail?