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Cross all over again

The Spanish banking system drives me crazy. It's slow and ponderous with piles and piles of paper, incredible waiting times and outrageous charges. I've got used to it of course, even old people like me are very adaptable, but it did strike me that I could save about 160€ per year by closing one of the accounts that I no longer really use.

On the surface the banks are all very modern looking - chipped cards, Internet transactions and what not but not far beneath the veneer it's still steel nibbed pens and winged collars. I guessed that I would be expected to go to my own branch to close the account in person. The problem is that my own branch is 120km away. I got in touch with the bank's central customer services to ask how to overcome the problem. Their answer was simple. Only the one branch can close your account.

To be honest I didn't get particularly cross. I wasn't surprised. I've lived here a while now. And, after all this is the bank that, when I asked them how to get an electronic signature so I could contact them by secure email, replied that they could not answer my email because it was not secure. What I did do was go to the nearest branch of the bank with a plan.

I explained that I wanted to close the account. They gave me the same guff about having to go to my branch. "Can I transfer the account to here?" I asked, "Of course," said the clerk. "Fine, in that case I'd like to move my account to here and then I'll close the new account."

Remarkably the clerk suddenly thought of a way to close my account by having me fill in some forms which she will then send on to my branch. It's still to do of course, lots can go wrong yet.


  1. Well they took the paperwork and gave me all but 7€ of the cash back (to cover possible charges I presume) so the account seems to be closed.


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