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UBS Doesn't love Vietnam

When you think about Switzerland, one of the first things that come to your mind is banking.

Well, when I came here it was also in my mind, so one of the first things I tried to do was to open an account bank in one of the international banks here. In this case I chose the UBS… and I chose wrong.

I thought it would be nice to have an account here as I am supposed to come around 2 or 3 times a year to report to the head office… yes, that and also I was thinking about the ‘glamour’ of Swiss accounts.

Let me explain you why it became a nightmare…

First I tried to open an account in USD dollars: ‘There is a penalty of 1% each time you withdraw money from an USD account, is it ok with you?’ they asked. ‘Yes, ok, go on and open it’. As a starting I deposited there 5000 USD and I filled up an application for a maestro card. No residence permit, no questions… good.

Two days later, they called me… ‘Excuse me, there’s a problem with your account, you can’t have a maestro (debit) card as your account is in USD, so when you receive it, please destroy it’. ‘Hey, how am I supposed to withdraw money without the bank card?’ ‘Sorry, you have to do it at the counter in any office’… ‘No, I can’t, what happens if I am abroad?’. ‘You can always convert your account into Swiss Francs…’ ‘Ok, I will do that’.

So I went to the bank office, closed my USD account and opened a new one in Swiss Francs…. ‘Excuse me Sir, you are not resident here, right?’ ‘No, I’m not, why?’ ‘In order to keep the account opened you need to increase the amount of money there’…’ hmm… ok, no problem’. So I deposited 15.000 CHF in the new account and applied for a new debit card.

After some days later, they called me again… ‘Excuse me, are you tourist here or working or what.?’… ‘I’m just here for a training, I’m going back home after it finishes’… ‘Ah, in that case, when you leave Switzerland, your account must have at least 30.000 CHF francs or we will be forced to close it, you can’t have an account if you are not living here’… ‘I see… ok, no problem’.

So I went there again one week later with the money they asked… ‘Ok, now when you go to back to Spain’ ‘Hey, wait a minute. Who said Spain? I don’t live in Spain I live in Vietnam’ ‘Ah, NO! Then there’s no way to keep your account opened! If your country of residence is Vietnam, you have to close your account now’.

Ok… I took my money and run out from that bank. I didn’t have to run so far, all I had to do was crossing the street and enter into a local bank office. All was kindness and smiles when they saw the money.

On May 04 2009 32 Views

Tag - Amor
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