Romania, where not even the banks understand capitalism


An associate of mine is out of town at the moment and asked me to go to the bank and pay off a small debt that they had, and promised to repay me upon their return.

I said, “Sure, no problem.”

[[Fast forward to inside bank]]

“Hello, friendly lady at the teller window,” I said. “I came to give you money to put in blah-blah-blah’s account and here’s the blah-blah-blah number and other information.”

“Found it,” she said. “Now let me see some ID.”

“Don’t have it.”

“Too bad, so sad. That’s Romanian banking law. You can’t give us money without showing ID.”

“But I’m not here to withdraw money, only give you money to pay off your customer’s debt.”

“Doesn’t matter. Look, I have this screen on my computer here and I have to fill out all of your information before it’ll let me move on.”

“Okay, I’ll just tell you who I am,” I said.

“Nope, still won’t work. Without an ID you can’t sign the paper receipt because I have to witness that it was you.”

“What receipt?”

“When you deposit cash, you have to sign for a paper receipt. It’s Romanian banking law.”

“Are you saying that you don’t trust your computer system to work?” I asked.

*long pause*

“So unless you break the law, I can’t deposit money in their account right now?” I asked, seeing how far she’d go.

She nodded, a strange crinkle in her eye. “Listen,” she said, using English for the first time. “I know but this is Romania. What can we do?”

oldguywink

“I’m about to make you a bad girl then,” I said.

With a dramatic wink, I set the cash on the counter and slowly backed away, raising my index finger to my lips, the universal symbol for “If you won’t tell, I won’t tell”.

I glanced around at the other workers, including the elderly security guard dressed in baggy brown trousers, nodding at all of them as I assured them it would be all right.

As I got within a step of the door, I suddenly turned and bolted full speed at the exit, bursting into the sunlight as I congratulated myself once again for choosing to live in this hilarious country.

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15 Responses »

  1. At least in some parts of EU (probably Eurozone), you cannot deposit at all cash in other people’s bank accounts. The reason is anti money laundering laws.

  2. How silly.

    • Actually is not silly. If no ID is required it would be very simple to deposit money under a fake name or even using someone else’s name so money laundering would be very easy, framing someone would be easy as well and, generally, it would create all kinds of “opportunities” for outlaws.

  3. @Bogdan: if a rule does not make sense, you just remove the bloody rule. there’s cameras in every single shitty bank joint – even at the atm machines. so money laundering is not the point. the point is to make you, john doe’ nobody cares about, feel secure… rotfl, rotfl. and repeat.

  4. I doubut in the US is any different nowadays.

  5. You need an ID pretty much anywhere in Europe, it’s a measure enforced by anti money laundering laws all over the Continent.

  6. cat de prost e… se grabeste sa scrie ditamai articolu fara sa verifice inainte…crede ca tot ce e in america e direct si n europa. nu stie ca europa e taticu americii…asa urs e

  7. Aha, what if you wanted to deposit a ‘spaga’ on your buddy’s account, huh? :) Listen to me Sam, drop it, you’re not that smart and the bank is not that stupid.

  8. I would have loved to see the looks on their faces. On the other hand what you wanted to do is illegal because of the risk of money laundering (and thank god for these laws!).

    The bigger problem is actually that they wouldn’t know how to handle a situation that’s out of the ordinary and might actually choose to break the law because it’s the easy way out, while blaming ‘stupid romanian laws’ in the process. I hope they called their lawyer straight away and got it sorted legally (which would probably mean handing the money over to the police, and since it’s Romania the money probably disappearing at the police headquarters :) ).

  9. Nope, this is not only Romania, money trasnfers and deposits are controlled all over the world. I have a hell of a time getting money transferred to my account in Romania from diverse places in the world…Uncle Sam?

  10. What’s interesting is that foreigners always criticise that laws in Romania are not being respected. However, when the letter of the law is followed, they call it stupid,revolt against it or ridicule it.

    The law must be followed by everyone in every case without exceptions. Once an exception is made the law loses value and anything goes.

    Wren foreigners see dogs on the streets of Romania they complain about it. When the Romanians try to solve the issue using EU practices, they start shouting and calling them killers and dog abusers.

    I think sometimes Romania should learn how to tell these people to just piss off, with all due respect.

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