Posted 23 November 2023

Bank counter cash withdrawal today.

I was asked what I was going to do with the money.

Do I need to give them an answer or can I tell them that’s it’s my business?
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  1. samspud's avatar
    - I've worked for a high street bank for the last 20 years. Let me give you the answer.

    First and foremost, despite what you might imagine, we don't wake up in the morning, and whilst cleaning our teeth think, "You know what, when Mr G Allus comes in today I'm going to annoy him and ask him what he's doing with his money". Neither are we enjoying being nosy. We don't know you "from Adam", and ultimately yes you can do what you want with your money - we ultimately don't care.

    But believe it or not, we actually do care - about you.

    Social engineering is sooooo prevalent now. Joe public obviously wont be aware, but multiple times a day (genuinely) we get people in the branch who have been scammed (most likely) or coerced under duress (more rare).

    Also - IQ and life experience are irrelevant. None of us should say "I'm too smart - no one will do me". I've witnessed a retired accountant (who built and sold his own business over decades) give a bloke who tarmacked his driveway £120k over 12 x £10k cash withdrawals over a 12 month period for "an investment" - it turned out to be a ponzi and he lost it all. And guess what we did when he requested the money? We questioned him - because we care, and we dont want people to lose their money. We warned him multiple times, but in a condescending manner he said to me, "Son, I know what I'm doing". This happens soooo often.

    Also (but thankfully rarer) we do get the odd person in for £1-5k for someone who has "cut their hedge" or "mown their lawn" etc, or believe it or not have someone stood outside threatening them.

    So.... believe it or not, we don't "care" what you do with your money, and we haven't got the time or slightest interest in discussing how Mr G Allus is off to pay for hookers or blow once he leaves the branch - we've heard it all before, and we're too busy - we ask many people every day.

    And imagine in today's world of when "its everyone elses fault but mine", and on the time we DIDN'T ask, that person loses out? Guess what? The snowflakes would throw their arms up saying, "The bank had a duty of care....they should have supported me...asked me questions...blah blah blah".

    We actually just care for people - just the same as any trade worth their salt should. E.g. what business is it of dentists and doctors to ask us questions about our diet? I CAN EAT WHAT I WANT!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE HE HAD THE CHEEK TO ASK ME THAT!!! It's only because they care. But if we want to drink litres of full fat Coke and stuff burgers and beer down our throats that's great - but they just care.

    I hope that answers your question? (edited)
    Gallus's avatar
    No, it doesn’t answer my question.

    Nor does make any sense.

    There is no specific thing the money is going to be spent on.

    I just like having money in my house and even in my wallet.

    The horror.

    Maybe I just like looking at money.

    Should I lie or make something up to make it easier, or tell the truth and create a problem?
  2. Willy_Wonka's avatar
    Not sure what the problem is.

    They get held responsible for the stupidest actions committed by their customers which in reality they have no part in whatsoever.

    They are protecting their interests & their customers interests. If you don't like it swap banks to one that won't refund you if you cock up.
    Gallus's avatar
    What’s the refund situation for getting cash in the branch and walking out the door with it?

    Can you explain how any refund would work in that scenario?
  3. sidhoooooo's avatar
    It maybe just the bank looking out for vulnerable customers or customers being scammed, don't worry about it
    Gallus's avatar
    I’m not worried about it.

    I was informed that if I couldn’t tell them what it was for they can refuse to give me MY money.

    I told the cashier I just wanted MY money, which after consulting the manager for 10 minutes I eventually got.

    I informed the cashier that I would be back next week for the same amount.
  4. Gollywood's avatar
    OP - you sound like a nightmare to deal with.
    Gallus's avatar
    You sound like a very compliant person.

    That’s where we differ.
  5. fishwibbler's avatar
    Gallus, you sound up together which is great, a lot of people are vulnerable in one form or another and this is a protection the banks are introducing to try to prevent people losing money. My wife's auntie used to work in a bank and is of sound mind and intelligent yet she was at the bank counter attempting to transfer money with scammers on the phone to her claiming to be from BT. The scammers had a script to attempt to bypass the bank's checking protocols and she was in a very emotional state. The bank staff were suspicious and decided to prevent the transaction even though wife's auntie insisted. Good job as this was a scam and after calming down and with a clear head, wife's auntie realised this herself too. Personally I welcome it and wouldn't have a problem with being asked about the purpose of the money, it's a good talking point.

    Next time I take out a big lump of cash I'll say it's for my wife's head-stone.

    When they say they're sorry, when did she pass...

    I'll say "In about an hour!"
  6. mutley1's avatar
    they will ask if the amount is large as part of money laundering. i am not sure how they would be able to identify money laundering by asking what people are going to do with the money, but it may put people off doing money laundering if they are asked every time they take cash out as it isn't so anonymous.
    Gallus's avatar
    None of it makes any sense pertaining to a care for me or my money.

    It looks like they want all transfers or payments to be traceable.

    They can ask what it’s for, but I have the right to decline.

    You don’t even by law have to answer questions asked by cops, yet the bank thinks you have to answer their questions.

    Something not right here.
  7. JimboParrot's avatar
    It is done to make sure you are not being forced to withdraw cash for say a rogue trader. Just say it is for house renovation work.
    Gallus's avatar
    I wonder how many people have answered…

    ”it’s for a rogue trader”
  8. bozo007's avatar
    Far too many people falling for scams and it is coming out of the banks' pockets. So yes, it is going to be made inconvenient for everyone until scam related costs come down significantly.

    As for cash, it is unusual to withdraw large amounts in this day & age given the large number of non cash options available to move money. The staff are required to ask questions and it is not just about bank rules but also about police requiring it in many cases. (edited)
    Gallus's avatar
    I’ve still not been told by anyone how a ££ refund would happen if I walk out of the bank with cash and then do something deemed “silly” with it.

    I’m all ears on that one.
  9. Nikita_Percival's avatar
    They have a duty of care to protect there customers. So I don’t see why you have a problem with being asked
    mutley1's avatar
    if you haven't got anything to hide, i don't think you would mind answering some simple questions, for the sake of helping other people who may be scammed and taken advantage of, and to stop criminals carrying out activities.
  10. acb76's avatar
    Seems like an over-reaction to me. Each to their own, but on the few times I've withdrawn large amounts in cash I've actually volunteered the reason for doing so before being asked.

    Different scenario but I once arrived at the check-in desk for a flight (home from holiday) with double the luggage I was permitted for a single traveller. The reason was because my wife had tragically and unexpectedly died less than 12 hours before, and despite trying, I'd been unable to speak to anyone at the airline before my arrival at the airport.

    I couldn't avoid having to explain why I had double the luggage, much as the last thing I felt like doing was drawing attention to myself or having to explain what had happened. Inevitably as soon as I explained (to the very taken aback person at the check-in desk) managers etc. were immediately called because they understandably wanted to establish whether I was in any emotional state to fly (bottom line was the alternative was sitting in a hotel room far away from home with no family etc. to support me, and whether I flew home then or sometime later really was going to make no difference to my emotional state).

    Whilst that is a different scenario to the OP's nonetheless to me it's all about customer care, and I genuinely don't get why anyone would have an issue with it.
    aLV426's avatar
    I guess the issue is the OP doesn't consider it "customer care" and instead considers it prying...
    What disturbs me here is if there is an answer that will result in the bank refusing to issue your request?
    If there isn't then what is the point of the cashier asking the question?
    I appreciate that they have a "duty of care" to ensure someone isn't withdrawing a large amount under duress.
  11. one_eight_seven's avatar
    This discussion:

  12. joyf4536's avatar
    Hubby had this, his first answer was 'gifts' for friendly (over 21) ladies during a forthcoming stagg weekend in Barcelona - they said they "couldn't put that".

    Then he said he wanted to put it on the favourite in the 2.30 at Hadock Park so they wrote "alternative investment opportunity" (edited)
  13. RoosterNo1's avatar
    I was asked a few months ago why I was going to do with that amount of cash...

    "Cocaine and hookers, the rest I'll probably waste" says I.

    They've not asked since
  14. TristanDeCoonha's avatar
    Tell them it is for drugs and fast women, and make them prove otherwise
    Gallus's avatar
    It crossed my mind to say hookers and blow.

    I wonder what their refund policy is on that.
  15. Mark_Hickman's avatar
    Me and the mrs went into the bank to get 15k cash last year and they made a big deal about it, at first giving us loads of greif saying it has to be a transer to another bank.
    Eventually they agreed to cash but kept asking loads of annoying questions loud at the window whilst counting up big piles of cash on display and made me more likely to get followed and attacked, absolute idiots, makesme want to keep money in the house (edited)
    mutley1's avatar
    i watched a series on netflix called "GOLD", which is based on the brink's mat robbery, and the dodgy accountant in there went to withdraw £250,000 in cash, in £50 notes, regularly and the everyone at the bank was very suspicious that something was afoot. they reported their concerns to head office as apparently even the bank of england had to print extra £50 notes to satisfy this one customer but head office said they shouldn't do anything but just pay the money as requested.

    apparently back in those days, banks could not question customers about suspicious transactions, either in or out of their account and they could not report any suspicion to the police as it was deemed private data and client confidentiality.

    it was really funny to see how obvioulsy fraudulent this was, and yet no one could do anything about it. this apparently was what had introduced the money laundering act, where large unexplained transactions are now the responsibility of banks to process and report to the authorities. if this had been in place back in the 80s, when the robbery happened, they wouldn't have been able to launder the money so easily. the mind boggles.
  16. E_T_C's avatar
    I think the purpose is to confirm why the cash is being withdrawn, this mainly for customers who have been pressured into withdrawing the money. Usually building work, purchasing a car or paying for an item where the person will only accept cash is a reasonable answer.

    This is not the fault of the person but the policy of the bank/building society.
    aLV426's avatar
    I very much doubt any reputible car dealer will accept cash as payment for a car - certainly not in Northern Ireland as it has anti-money laundering laws (I believe they refer to it as terrorist financing)…ies
  17. patrick1616's avatar
    Just tell the cashier your drug dealer insists on cash.
    Gallus's avatar
    I don’t think that’s on their list of “correct” answers.
  18. bozo007's avatar
    The debate here reminds me of a lawyer joke about how to present the case -

    If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.
    Gallus's avatar
    It’s a good job there’s no law involved in this case.
  19. samwants2save's avatar
    I think if you take out <5k they don't ask.. or is it 4k?? Anyone shed light on this? (But yeh, hate it when they count it all out in front of a massive queue which has quickly built up behind cos there's only 2 banking clerks) there's no flippin glass/ cubicles anything- just out on show, and talk in a 'normal voice' as opposed to discreetly... always fear getting robbed enroute to the car (edited)
    Gallus's avatar
    I asked to take out £3k from an account I’ve had since I was 16 in my local town branch with people who know who I am.

    For the avoidance of doubt.

    I’ve been in the bank in question at least 3 times this year spending time in a closed room dealing with a debit card problem that they admitted was a problem at their end.

    I’m not some stranger to them that opened an account last year.

    This is a fairly small town bank.
  20. aLV426's avatar
    The last time I took a sizeable amount of cash out of my bank (from my bank account!) I walked in with a briefcase. Went to the car dealer to buy my new car and they refused! They said I had to pay via a banker draft. So I had to go back tot he bank and pay for a bankers draft. So annoying. I recall wanting to complain and the cashier was being difficult, when I asked for his name he told me it was Michael Caine. It turned out his name was actually Michael Caine, but I didn't believe him at the time!
    mutley1's avatar
    my husband offered to pay cash when he bought a car many years ago and was told that if he did so, they would have to charge him for adminstering the cash as they said that they have to pay security people to ferry cash around, so if he paid with a bankers draft, it will be cheaper.
  21. Mendoza's avatar
    I’m assuming it was a high amount..

    I know NatWest do this, I just say, it’s for a car, depending on amount..

    they’re doing you a favour asking, but I don’t know what secret sign you’re supposed to give, if you are being forced by criminals (edited)
    mutley1's avatar
    you could say that you are taking money out to pay the criminal? i think it is as simple as that
  22. Helpful567's avatar
    Perhaps you could tell them that you are going to spend the money on your wetsuit collection.…903 (edited)
    Gallus's avatar
    You weren’t even registered here when that was posted.

    I don’t have a wetsuit collection.

    Your username is very misleading.

    The last thing you are is helpful.
  23. TheUrbis's avatar
    The paranoia of some people astounds me.
    bozo007's avatar
    Is it that or just a hugely inflated ego and entitlement?
  24. Pricklerickle's avatar
    Tell them you got a eye on a prosie and there need a special deposit but don't worry you being safe about it as there having black Friday sale
    Willy_Wonka's avatar
    There is a good joke in that comment about Daniel Defoes' Robinson Crusoe. A joke that probably belongs in the 18th Centuary.
  25. The2Time's avatar
  26. tardytortoise's avatar
    Chang bank, but I suspect you will find pretty much the same - do a doddy
    AndyRoyd's avatar
    Changing bank will likely require the applicant to show a passport as credible proof of ID - the one document that a bank cannot verify.
    Please don't give OP another soapbox.
  27. BonzyBuddy's avatar
    There's a lot of scams out there mate, i was in the ee shop today for a replacement sim and they went through so many checks and they only stopped when they were satisfied after asking me about my bills etc
    Gallus's avatar
    I get that in that situation.

    My situation is different.
  28. mug's avatar
    Bank staff are trained to spot scams and as part of the scheme will assist customers by asking various questions when they are withdrawing or transferring money to help keep them safe.…eme (edited)
    Willy_Wonka's avatar
    Link doesn't work
  29. JimboParrot's avatar
    OP you hit the nail on the head. I take it you know the Latin for Gallus?
    Gallus's avatar
    Is it a parrot, Jimbo?
  30. Roger_Irrelevant's avatar
    I can think of one scenario you'd always cash at hand; if the missus is about to run off with someone n you need to put the money safe before all the accounts get frozen.
    Gallus's avatar

    I know someone who has an 8 figure sum in cash in his house for a reason similar to that.
  31. Gallus's avatar
    Well, this was a very enlightening thread.

    Not in a good way.
  32. Willy_Wonka's avatar
    Amamus Gallus!
  33. mutley1's avatar
    Some banks are a bit crazy about money laundering. I went into HSBC to pay my husband's credit card bill with cash. It was around £1,200 and the cashier said that I can't pay with cash as it isn't my credit card bill so he would have to come in.

    I went and paid at the ATM machine in the bank instead, which didn't give me so much lip
    Gallus's avatar
    Bank paranoia with money laundering isn’t my problem.

    I don’t consent to being subjected to an interrogation process withdrawing MY money from MY bank due to their paranoia.

    That isn’t my problem.

    It’s not my place to indulge them in any capacity.

    I have consulted with my legal advisor today and am confident of my position.

    I understand that the end game is with them closing my account.

    I’m OK with that.
  34. AndyRoyd's avatar
    Not read all the posts cos kinda dull after first few,
    but one of the easiest routes to obtain actual formal bank policy and its motivation rather than any specific branch's over/under policy implementation is to raise formal complaint.
    Then determine if the drearyness warrants further effort to obtain no obvious benefit.
    Apologies if complaint route already mentioned.
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