Tuesday, February 6

what a load of bankers

enid has blogged before about her bank, the heavily disguised hbsc. well, there is another hbsc story - a dark story of human passions, frustration and regret. now time has passed and the wounds have begun to heal, enid feels able to revisit the past and tell the saga of the lost cash card. draw your seats closer to the fire, light your pipes and we'll begin.

our story begins on a street in kernib, molvania. it's friday evening, and enid stops at a bankomat to draw out some cash for the weekend. the machine puts up a big red shouty message on the screen, telling enid in russian, molvanian and english that there's no money in her account - but enid's just been paid and there is money in her account. enid thumps the machine's keyboard, swears at it (restricting herself to english), and heads for home. it's only when she's unlocking her front door that she remembers she didn't retrieve her card. she runs back as fast as she can, puffing like a asthmatic walrus. of course the card is gone. buggery bollocks. some molvanian is right now spending enid's hard-earned on tart's trinkets in the glittery shops of mandarin plaza.

back home, enid calls hbsc. luck, for the last time in several months, is on her side - no money is missing from the account. the bank cancels the card and enid orders a replacement. "how long will it take to get here? i've a trip to the uk in two weeks."

"if we send it by courier, it will be there in four days or so - but it will cost you an extra £10."

"never mind," enid says. "i wouldn't want you to post it anyway. only 50% of molvanian post actually arrives."

"righty-ho, i've noted that down, ms singular," replies hbsc, in a bangalore accent. "nice weather we've been having here in blighty, isn't it? quite splendid for the cricket?"

"save your cultural pretences for others, and speed that card on its way."

four days later, five, then six and still no courier from hbsc. enid calls. "that card you couriered to me?"

"oh, no, we posted it. it would have cost £10 extra to courier it."

"but i expressly told you not to post it," enid says. when angry she tends to use words like "expressly", which are not part of her everyday lexicon. (nor is "lexicon" part of her lexicon, come to that.)

"sorry, ms singular, but the card should be with you in two weeks now. bit chilly here in blighty, isn't it? still, the sun's out, which is jolly spiffing."

enid, who is prepared this time, points out that its 36 degrees in southern india, and night time to boot.

enid and her barclaycard squeak through the trip to the uk without major financial hardship. back in molvania, the two weeks come and go and enid phones hbsc again. "so, as i predicted, the letter with my card in has gone missing. i'll be in the uk again in a couple of weeks - can you deliver another card to a branch near my parents' house, so i can pick it up in person?"

"certainly ms singular, which branch?"


"i've made an instruction for that on your records. been a bit wet here in blighty lately, hasn't it? i hope the cricket's not rained off"

"i live in molvania, the place you posted the missing letter to," enid retorts. "the weather in blighty is merely of passing interest, and the cricket less so. please ensure that card arrives as promised."

three days before she flies, enid phones the bank again to check that the card has been dispatched. she is assured that it has. "there's a note here on the file that says to send it to whitstable branch."

"but was it actually sent?"

"it says to send it on the file, so it will have been sent."

"last time it said to courier it to kernib, but was it couriered?"

"let me ch-"

"that was a rhetorical question."

enid's mother and father drive her to whitstable. well, her father drives and her mother points out what he's doing wrong. they manage to park right outside the bank and enid runs inside. "oh no," says the helpful teller (who should be made head of offshore banking at once). "i'm pretty sure that we've not had any letters for collection. but wait there while i turn the bank upside down for you."

she does so. no letter containing much needed cash card.

back at her parents' place, enid calls. "that card you sent for collection to your whitstable branch..."

"we didn't send a card to whitstable-"

"i know."

"-we sent it to kernib. that's the address on the account. why would we send it to whitstable?"


"ms singular?"

"is. there. perhaps. a note. in the system. to say. to send it to whitstable? did i not call you merely three days ago to confirm you'd sent it? i've just driven to whitstable expressly to pick this bloody card up, and to be quite frank i'm so angry that i'm using words that are not in my usual lexicon at all."

"oh, yes, now i scroll down a bit there is a note to that effect. sorry. still, the card will be in kernib when you get back, won't it?"

"if you couriered it, it might. did you courier it?"


a week after enid's return to molvania, by some miraculous turn of fate, her card arrives in the post. the accompanying letter mentions her new pin code, which will arrive in a separate letter. there is, of course, no separate letter.

(to be continued, probably for the rest of enid's life.)


Carpetblogger said...

Enid, you slay me! i just opened an HSBC local currency account but no one will tell me how to put money in it, given that I have no deposit slips or atm card. Quite a useless operation.

Sally Lomax said...



- on your behalf!

(Brilliant post btw)

Billy & MrsF said...

HSBC are just shite. Fortunately I dont bank with them but a friend of mine did until he died.

His silly sod of a brother who is also a friend of mine used HSBC for the administration of the estate. The account was called at the instance of HSBC "The executors of Mr XXX".

Now Mr XXX had property and assets in Italy and France. Both countries refused to release the assets to the estate depite the fact that all the paperwork was hunky dory.

In the end Mr XXXs brother flew first to southern Italy to find out what the problem was and got arrested as soon as he got off the plane.

The italian police were very cross at his cheek and daring. What cheek and daring? asked Mr XXXs brother.

"Not only do you kill Mr XXX and then try to take his money but you even advertise the fact" said the Police.

"What on Gods name are you on about " demnds Mr XXXs brother who happens to be a very senior Detective.

"Look here on your cheque book and the papers you demand the money be paid to the killers of MrXXX."

At this point MrXXXs brother explained that in this instance executor did not mean killer but administrator.

The italians took MrXXXs brother out for dinner and said sorry several times. MrXXXs brother gracial accepted the apology and left Italy with his money.

Despite all this HSBC have refused to change the name on the account and as a result the French are having no truck at all with the estate.

Wendz said...

Oh banks! Pfft! I hate banks - even French ones....no make that especially French ones. Sods.

Emma in Canada said...

Banks are the devil,s work I am sure. Mine will not give me a new debit card because my ID is expired. I am too cheap to renew the ID. So I stole the fella's.
I read a few of Chris' recommended posts and they all made me laugh. Very funny!

enid said...

hbsc seem to be well liked by most of you - they've even driven poor sally to caps! thanks for your kind comments.

wendz, enid has a few french bank stories she may just dredge out of her memory one day. she thinks french banks can indeed be worse than american ones.

billy, enid thinks you should blog that story yourself, sounds as though it could be much more amusing than her little tale.

emma, welcome to enid's blog, and thanks!

enid said...

ooops, carpetblogger, you'd scrolled off the top there. glad you liked the post. enid recommends avoiding hbsc if at all possible. like, say, if you have an old plastic bag you could keep your money in.

Sally Lomax said...

Lots of people gave us tins of chocolates for Christmas, which are now empty. I'm thinking of doing a trade in them, and calling them banks.

It will work like this:

If you want to put some money into one of my tins, you can, on the basis that I can use the money, place it in high interst overnight acounts, and won't give you anything for it.

If you want to write a cheque against the money in the tin, I'll let you, as long as you pay me a nice fee for doing so.

If you don't have enough money in your tin to write the cheque, because I ahven't put the new money that you ahve given me into the tin yet, because it is sitting in a nice high interest overnight account, then I won't pay it for you, but I will charge you £35 for checking to see if there is enough money in the tin.

At the end of the year, I won't pay you any interest on any money that you have left in the tin for me to use, but I will charge you interest on any of the chrages that I ahve charged you for not having enough money. A sort of poor tax.

Would anyone be interested in one of my tins?


Beccy said...

Luckily I don't have any horror banking stories. As much as I feel sorry for you and Sally and anyone else your style of writing amuses me greatly!

ChrisB said...

Enid the frustration of banking via India or where ever, but you write a brilliant post LOL.

Sally loved your comments forgive me if I don't take one of your tins!!

enid said...

sally, brilliant, there's a whole blog post there. please write it so enid can link to it next time she disses hbsc.

and thanks beccy and chris, glad you enjoyed it!

varske said...

And I thought I was going to change to HSBC because nothing could be worse than Citibank. I had exactly the same experience with the credit card.

You can imagine how much fun I had trying to explain to people in Bangalore that no Kosovo was not a country and so didn't have an IBAN code for bank accounts but yes I did want to pay people there.

enid said...

varske, hi! enid doesn't think there's a decent bank in the whole world. if anyone has any recommendations for american banks that aren't totally useless, please give them to her.

rob said...

I'm still just thinking about whether I want to leave my country. Its a big step... I found out some good info on bank accounts as a first step. Might help you out too.

enid said...

thanks rob. if you want to read more enidd, she's actually moved to enidd.com