Money laundering is a real concern.  Authorities want to know the source of the money and its final destination.

In Britain this concern has affected me directly.

When I was the executor of my parents’ estate I was not allowed to deposit money into a bank account Hubs and I had held for umpteen years, without proving first where it came from.

I was insulted, they knew of my loss but insisted on knowing the fount of its existence.

I went to the family bank, where we had been dealing with each other face-to-face for many decades, and deposited the funds, no questions asked.

I have always found that English banks quibble when talking about money.  I know the subject is taboo in polite circles but my High Street bank should not make me feel  unsure as to whether or not I will ever see my money again when I make a deposit.

Generally I leave, after being thoroughly grilled on why I want a line of credit, feeling like a criminal.

Monetary security is rigorous and for that I should be grateful but I think they smudge the line between the common man or woman on the street and the financial villain.

No wonder my grandparents kept their savings under the stair carpet; they imagined they would never see it again;  I know exactly how they felt.

Last week I was required to send an American lending institution records of all our bank accounts.

I ask Hubs to sit with me while I log on, at my desk, to half a dozen financial houses,


“You’re only going to be taking screen shots, it’ll be boring to watch,” he says as he dutifully joins me in my bedroom office.

“I always get nervous when I try to go online with the English accounts, never knowing if the rules have changed and I’ll get locked out and lose access to my funds,” I say, my stomach dropping at the very thought.

He sits and observes while I breeze through the U.S. accounts.  They all remember me as instructed.  Painless.

Then come the foreign banks.


They don’t remember me despite formal introductions.

I meticulously key in access codes, calling out the combination as I enter the requested 2nd, 6th and 13th characters.

Invariably the first and second passes fail, I slow down and call for back-up and between us we get it right.

I breathe a sigh of relief.

“Ooh, I see why you get so tense,” coos my collaborator.

The next bank has a nifty little keypad that comes into play only after I’ve identified myself on screen,

“Who is this?” the home page demands!

Once satisfied it directs me to my pins-entry which I have to retrieve from its safe place.

A magic machine;


An issuer of codes…once I’ve inserted my credit card the correct way up.

I carefully follow the directions flashed up on the tiny screen and punch one of the keys on the top row, only I’m too slow, by the time I return to my computer with the an identifying symbols my session has been timed out.

“See what I mean?” I turn to my partner in crime, a bundle of nerves, “I can’t remember whether I’m to identify, sign or respond…”  He gives me a blank look and shakes his head.

I take a few minute’s break with my head in my hands and find my breath missing in trepidation,

“Wow this is intense,” observes my witness as he hands me my inhaler.

“Now do you see why I need your moral support?” I ask as I follow the prompts and complete the task.  I shut my computer.

“I feel like a criminal just watching you,” he flops exhausted onto the bed, “clap me in handcuffs!”


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