Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Opening a bank account...

After 7 years of living here without a bank account of my own, this year I needed one. I have a credit card from South Africa and get my money out that way, so I never needed one before. And now I even have two!

In order to open a bank account, I first had to register with the Tax Office and get a "JIB" or special unique number for me (kind of like an identity number). This luckily wasn't too hard, but required filling out a form and having a certified copy of my passport. At the bank I also had to fill out a form and also have a certified copy of my passport. (which was a bit of a bummer because I could have certified two copies at once if I had known. Oh well). Luckily the bank people were very friendly and I managed to get the original bank account etc sorted out quite easily.

Now, I needed to get a bank account in Euros so people can send into that account, and so went today to go sort that out. Again I needed the certified copy of my passport... once I had that, I really caused some problems! It was the bank worker's last day on the job, and he was training someone else and the two of them couldn't figure out what was going on on their system, so they had to phone for help. He even said that I was the first foreigner opening that kind of bank account that he had had in 18 months of working in that position!

It got me thinking, I tend to make problems for banks: it started in childhood when my dad wanted to open a savings account for us children which had a Autobank (ATM) card. The banks in those days had no provision for children to get those kind of cards... But, my dad insisted and we were the first children to get that kind of card! And now the banks in South Africa (and I guess elsewhere in the world) actually have special bank accounts targeted at children!!

I also was the first Std Bank customer to have a credit card linked to a E-plan account (the lowest form of account). They hadn't made provision for people who had a credit card (which I got while I was working and had more money and then needed for traveling) to only have a simple E-plan account (the cheapest option!). But boy did it cause headaches!

In the end they managed to get the bank account sorted out, and I am now the proud owner of not one, but two bank accounts in Bosnia!!

1 comment:

OliveTree said...

Good for you! We have bank accounts in Turkey, and the steps sound similar. You have to get a tax id number first. I find bureaucracy maddening, but if I just take a deep breath and go to the next step, things usually get sorted out sooner or later.

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