If we had truth in advertising, the central character in a bank advertisement would be a big dumb oaf with dementia.

On Monday I went to one of our fabulous banks. My purpose was to transfer ALL money from one account to another and close the empty account. It wasn’t my account. Before you call the police, I was doing this on behalf of my mother who had given me the right to act on her behalf.

The Odyssey begins

Visit One: Seems I don’t have the required authority to perform this task. I need to return with the owner of the account.

Visit 2: After waiting 45 minutes, we find my mother hasn’t brought enough information to prove who she is. This is despite being a customer of the bank for 60 years and having dealt with this branch for 30. We were battling with a new set of Federal Government rules called, ironically, “Know Your Customer”.

Visit 3: We returned with enough information to construct a family history going back to the middle ages. An abrasive member of staff with a sound knowledge of the rules explained that we had failed again. The photo-id that we brought, following the previous day’s bank advice, was invalid. Helpfully, she said go to the NSW Services office upstairs and get a photo-id. With rage mounting, I headed upstairs.

…this branch and many others no longer accept cash

Services New South Wales employee

Services NSW: Brilliant service, I put my hand out for the ID to be told by staff it will be mailed in 5 to 10 days. I also heard them say that this branch and many others no longer accept cash. A government office that does NOT accept cash? Is that legal?

Visit 4: Now desperate, we returned to the bank and asked to see someone less skilled in obeying rules and with some training in customer service. Seems this is a high level skill in a modern day bank so we were introduced to Jason, the Manager. After reviewing our case, Jason was distraught. Through sobs, he explained there was nothing he could do until we came back with proof of who the person sitting in front of him was. The customer, who has had an account at this bank prior to Jason’s birth, needed to try harder to prove her identity.

I decided against confiding to him that few people of my mother’s era were married at birth.

Further, he explained that whatever proof we had must match EXACTLY the name on the bank account. So the birth certificate we carried was a problem because it carried my mother’s maiden name. I decided against confiding to him that few people of my mother’s era were married at birth. That name stipulation also meant the Services NSW id-card will be invalid because we errantly put a middle name on the one we had just ordered.

In short, we needed 100 identification points. No-one could show us the rule book or tell us how to score in this game

Head office helps

So I rang the bank’s head office to have the rules explained. Seems I needed just two easily forged pieces of paper. Confidently, I prepared for my next battle with the local bank.

Visit 5: Jason meets me near the bank entrance :
Bank Manager: Do you have everything?
Knowing I did, I showed him my homework.
Bank Manager: Do you have the pension card?
Me: You mean the one that scored no points yesterday?
Bank Manager: Yes, that one.
Me: No.
At this point I became irrationally angry. Jason took this opportunity to ask:
“Do you want my help or not?”
It appeared to be a prelude to what he saw as a justified and principled reason to end our relationship. I accepted yet another defeat and withdrew graciously.

Visit 6:
I returned ever hopeful and after a 15 minute wait Jason addressed our problem to everyone’s satisfaction.

The system works great but I am a failure

In summary, I don’t blame Jason. He is a decent fellow as needled by the rules as I was. He was helpful, we had a pleasant chat and left friends. Under the rules of neoliberalism the system is perfect and all failure is personal. I had failed 5 times. You meet the terms of the system regardless of how arduous and silly or you fail.

Which brings me to this wonderful interview conducted by C. J. Hopkins with Catherine Austin Fitts. It explains how trillions of US dollars disappeared down a Pentagon money shaft. This was achieved through an arcane relationship with the Reserve Bank system.

In the last two years, the largest negative gearing program in history provided the VERY BIG END OF TOWN with unlimited funds to capitalise on the destruction of small business that Covid-19 policies wrought in the US, Australia and much of the western world. Was it a plan?

The plan to get rid of legacy systems. This means online education, health, shopping and more predicted in April 2020. In short, the plan was to limit the impact of the biohazard from the economy. What is that? You and me. Whitney Webb explains all to Jimmy Dore.

Our Reserve Bank Governor, Phillip Lowe, promised borrowers as late as July last year that interest rates wouldn’t rise until 2024. The enormous sums that western governments were spending undoubtedly presaged inflation. I explained this to anyone who might want to listen. So it proved to be. Was Lowe’s promise a lie or a deception? What happened to concerns about the surplus.? Did he mean to entice and trap people into unpayable mortgages?

This will be passed off as a mistake by one man. The Pentagon theft is likely to be passed off similarly as a rogue act. People make mistakes but the system is perfect. Yet, these are big mistakes that have seen huge amounts of money transferred to God knows who.

The sale of Federal Government bonds is our national debt. I once tried to find out who we owed that debt to? It is not for us to know or for us to find out. “Know Your Customer” does not operate here.

Meanwhile, in modern day Australia an elderly pensioner seeking money for an essential service from her own account is treated as one half of Bonnie and Clyde. If you’re under 40 look up who they are on that Google thing.

All the best

This article can also be found on my Substack site

Warren Ross

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