February 05, 2014
Today I went to the bank...

My day began with my wife informing me she was not quite 300 dollars overdrawn at the bank. By an odd coincidence, I was in a position to make up that shortfall for her. And since we were low on cat food and the grocery and the bank are in the same shopping center, I opted to drive down and deposit cash rather than to do an online transfer. I'm old enough to remember when depositing cash was the fastest way to do that sort of thing.

Well, the nice lady at the bank informed me that I had to show ID to deposit cash into an account for which I am not a signatory. That was irksome, but not as troubling as the fun fact she laid on me next: As of March 1, no one but the authorized user of a given account can make a cash deposit into that account. This, I was told, is a new federal regulation to combat money laundering. In the interests of politeness, I refrained from pointing out that perhaps our federal regulators should be directing their efforts toward the banks themselves, rather than the customers of those banks.

However, I was rude enough to point out that in performing a very straightforward transaction, the base assumption was that I am committing a crime, until proof to the contrary is provided. Nor is this the only day-to-day transaction that is so treated. If I wish to purchase certain (nominally) over-the-counter cold remedies, I have to provide ID because the base assumption is that these products are mainly purchased to make meth. I have to provide ID to buy a compressed air cleaner for my computer because the base assumption is that I am purchasing it to get high. Apparently, in our business-friendly America, we can no longer conceive of legitimate uses for a lot of the products being sold to us. (While we're at it, if I buy that compressed air cleaner at the right electronics chain, I will be asked on my way out to furnish proof that I did not shoplift it.)

Even more troubling is the thought I had getting into my car: Apparently our government now views its own currency mainly in terms of how it can be used to break the law. Tell me I'm overreacting...

Posted by Kurt Weldon at February 05, 2014 02:43 PM
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I'd say you're not overreacting, Kurt. This is the same kind of "logic" that punishes the whole school because some bozo wrote on the john wall.

Of course, it does give the government another reason to pry into our business to "keep us safe".

Posted by: Charles D on February 5, 2014 3:52 PM

Reacting toward the wrong target. This is bank policy (bet you bank with Chase), not a government law, rule or regulation. They want to deflect any criticism to a soft target, that "mean old guv'ment".

From a retired bank compliance officer

Posted by: Sam S on February 5, 2014 6:39 PM

You're overreacting.

Logs are kept of pseudoephedrine purchases so that a person can't go pharmacy to pharmacy buying one or two boxes to make meth. The alternative is to make it available only by prescription.

Complaining about changes in bank deposit rules because they don't solve problems they don't address is silly. If your wife wants you to make a deposit into her account, she can give you her card and you can use an ATM.

Definitely first-world problems.

Posted by: karen marie on February 6, 2014 4:18 PM

Great!

When I was in Europe many years ago and needed a neighbor to pick up a check for me and deposit it into my bank account so I could make a few extra purchases now becomes something suspicious that couldn't be done?

Nice. Very customer friendly.

Like everything at banks today.

Thanks for the heads up.

When will states catch on and start state banks like North Dakota and put an end to these drug-money laundering private banks?

I'm not holding my breath.

Wouldn't it be a real coup if progressives could use the momentum in our ranks caused by all the greed to found our own banks?

Posted by: Cirze on February 8, 2014 11:34 PM

Of course you MUST be over-reacting, after all, the NSA isn't actually 'listening' to your phone calls and reading your emails ---only "logging" and "storing" them in case they decide to listen and read later. The idea that some stores now insist on photographing my ID when I buy legal alcohol products would doubtless be a similar "now don't over-react" instance. And why I don't shop at those stores. So the idea that you are presumed guilty for having cash to deposit shouldn't upset you at all, even though the banks cannot adequately guarantee your debit card data can't be stolen -- just a bit of issue that makes cash more attractive!

Posted by: Syrbal/Labrys on February 10, 2014 1:34 PM
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