Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Money, Bank Accounts & other hassles!

Oh the joys! Setting up our peso bank account and actually getting some money into it has been one long, uphill battle ......... BUT today we've almost (maybe) reached the top of the hill.

Way back in April, when we were still in Inverness, Mrs Hugely Organised Naisby decided to drag Mr Coudn't Give A Damn Naisby into the local HSBC branch in Inverness to set up an Expat Premier Bank Account in Sterling and US Dollars which could then be mirrored  with an Expat account in Mexico in Pesos. All well and good in principle. The UK (Jersey) account was opened without any real hassle so we duly launched a few pounds here and a few dollars there into these new accounts. We then filled out a new mountain (and I mean a real mountain) of paperwork to start the process of opening the Mexican account. Rules and regulations are really tight in Mexico due to the fact that many banks, including HSBC, have been fined millions of pesos for money laundering over the past year or so.

           And so began the fun!

It took until the end of June to finally receive our account details, cheque book and debit card - notice the singular "debit card". On phoning HSBC, Mexico I was informed that in Mexico, the man of the house is the account holder although the woman of the family is allowed to use the cheque book (which doesn't bear her name) and her husband's debit card. As an independent woman used to earning my own money, operating all the household and business finances, this totally freaks me out! So much for not sharing PIN numbers and stuff either. But then there was another issue - getting internet access so we could transfer dollars to our peso account. Just try following rapid fire machine gun type Spanish down a phoneline when you want to complete your registration process. Speaking a bit of real life Spanish is absolutely no help here!

So ...... not to be totally daunted, I knew I was coming out to Mexico in September so thought I would just pop into the local branch of HSBC to get the problem sorted. Luz Elena, our local Customer Service adviser is lovely but delicately explained to me that she could not help me with internet access because my husband wasn't with me and he is the main account holder. GRRRR! So, here I am in Ajijic, wanting to buy a car but I have no pesos - solution ...... just pay in dollars. But that's another story in itself so back to the bank account .......

Dave & I eventually arrived in Ajijic permanently in November, all of 2 weeks ago and promptly went into the bank again to see Luz Elena. Although we were there for almost 2 hours, it was most comforting to know that she had to make about 15 phone calls to various departments to get our internet access up and running and some even hung up on her when she asked if anyone spoke English as Dave was struggling with phone communication with them in Spanish. Internet access all sorted, special gizmo key thingy for online banking access ordered, we returned home only to find our account had been suspended :-(((

Back to the bank again a couple of days ago, Luz makes more phone calls to find out why our account was blocked and discovers that because our Scottish address is still listed but we received our online access gizmo in Mexico, there was a security issue. DOH! Finally, we mow have an unblocked account, have managed to transfer pesos into it - via Dave's log key as I'm not issued with one - and we can see Sterling, Dollars & Pesos in the Global View section of our account ...... via Dave's log in of course.

I think we can now chalk this up as a success story despite it taking over 6 months to reach its conclusion.

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