Ever notice how when you owe the bank they just take it out of your account before they even give you notice? It could cause you some embarassment, but let's deal with the issue.
The issue is that nobody has a right to just take your money from your account. From my humble viewpoint, that is breaking and entering. It is like somebody breaking in your bedroom and finding your money and taking it because you owe them money. It does not work that way.
This is causing a lot of problems for people trying to use the banking system to conduct business. First, I find it difficult to understand why it should take three clear days to clear a cheque when the banks exchange cheques every morning at 8 a.m. at the Central Bank?
What makes it worse is that the bank will tell you three days but they will not tell you that they are not counting the day of the deposit, so when you check carefully it really takes five days. Yet by the morning after your deposit and at the latest the morning following that, the bank has your money, but would make you wait three extra days to collect it.
It gets even worser, if by chance one of your cheques reaches your bank on the fourth day, when for sure they have your money, they would charge you a Not Sufficient Funds (NSF) Fee or overdraft fee ($25 - $30) if you are depending on your deposit to clear that cheque you wrote two days after making the deposit, which somehow managed to get from another bank to your bank in a day.
So how it could take five days to clear for me but when I write a cheque to a supermarket that is going to deposit it in a bank that night, it only takes them a day to clear on your account? Actually, by the time you write the cheque on the third day, the bank already has your money but because the cheque came in before the dawn of the fifth day, you are penalised.
Worst of all, for that one thing you are penalised twice. First by the bank. Then the business to whom you wrote the cheque puts on up to fifty dollars; even more. But look how the bank gains; the bank put charges on you that wrote the cheque (after bouncing it for you) and then turns around and charges the business that deposit the cheque you wrote. So they induce a bounce and then dip their hands in their customers accounts.
I declare that the money in the bank in your account is "sacro sanctum" and should not be touched by anybody except the account holder and that every transaction which incurs a cost or "penalty" should come to the attention of the customer and he/she should sanction its withdrawal by signature before the financial institution can remove any funds from the customer's account.
Any business sends a bill and gives you time to pay. Why should it be any different with the banks? In the case of penalties, I have always argued that penalties should be paid into the consolidated fund. This is illegal from many perspectives, even if the banks want to declare that it is standard practice. In modern times when the probability of theft is always around the corner, it has to be illegal for anybody to just dip their hands into your money. It is not transparent and it offends the integrity of the security of your money.
Finally, anybody caught dipping their hands in your money should be reported to the police, charged and if convicted made to serve the same time and pay the same penalties as a person convicted of breaking and entering with the intention of theft. It is no different.
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