Three Letters Re: The Noose is Tightening


I recommend that readers strive to make deposits and withdrawals via an ATM. There is no opportunity to be interrogated by a teller.

I’ve also found that a deposit of a larger value seems to clear faster (i.e. funds available in my account) if I perform the deposit via an ATM. – P.S.

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I checked with a friend of mine that works in a small community bank in NJ. She was not aware of the most intrusive questions at all. Income and employer of both to make a deposit plus the other questions they do not do. At times, identification is required for split check (receive some cash back) deposits, but as we have heard Chase Bank is making people show i.d. and be an account holder for cash deposits. They just want to track and record all about us. – D.S.

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Dear HJL,

I have worked in the banking industry for over 26 years and have never heard of such requirements. First, the bank would already have much of the information on file since he already had an account. My question would be, “Did he try and cash the two checks first, then deposit them as cash?” If so, I could see it could happen. If the teller cashed the checks in the system and they totaled over the $10,000 amount then a currency transaction report would have showed up on the teller’s computer. However, at that time the teller should have bypassed the CTR requirement since no money actually was given. This would be the only possible reason for asking these types of questions.

I would be very interested in what bank did this. Also, if this is true, I would have immediately closed my account out and moved it to another institution. – L.F.

HJL Adds: It could also be a local bank policy. I have seen some truly bizarre behavior from local banks where they attempt to blame government or corporate policy for local policy. It is also possible to have a teller issue, either nefarious or ignorant in nature. In either case, if the questions were truly posed the way the letter was presented, it’s probably time to move banks. I’ve made such moves for much simpler reasons. I would like to believe that a smaller credit union or similar institution is better, but I’ve had my share of issues there as well.

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