A couple of months ago, Westpac conﬁrmed they had sacked the employee who had originally, mistakenly, given $10 million to a couple when they requested a $100,000 loan. The couple eventually scarpered and are believed to be in Red China. Either that or they are partying away at Lord Lucan’s place.
I was initially a bit upset over the ﬁring, because given the way banks work, the manager should have caught this earlier, too. However, it appears her dismissal was related to a second error. In the words of the former Mrs Federline, ‘Oops, I did it again.’
It makes me feel a bit better blogging about something that happened to me. Namely about the teller at Westpac who handed over $1,000 to me last week. Let’s hope he won’t get ﬁred for his error as it was an innocent mistake, and the bank has since sorted the matter out.
I withdrew $1,000 by writing a cash cheque—except he forgot to take the cheque.
And I stress that he was one of the most polite tellers I have come across for a long time. He seems like the sort of guy who would learn from the mistake. And he’s lucky that I am way too decent to pocket $1,000 dishonestly.
Effectively, the bank mistakenly counted out $1,000 and handed it to me.
I returned home to listen to an answerphone message from his boss, who seemed a bit panicked. Westpac says it has deducted my account with the amount and asked if I would destroy the cheque.
If it were not for CCTV, I could have replied, ‘What the devil are you talking about?’ And Westpac would have to admit that it handed over unrequested money to yet another Chinese man.
There are things that Westpac does right—namely by the folks at my own branch, who have always been highly professional and beyond reproach. So there was no point in prolonging the bank’s agony. The matter was resolved.
However, I can’t help but feel that the Westpac brand has been tarnished here, given the $10 million mistake was the ﬁrst thing I thought of.
It’s not really the image that the bank wants, yet, being a foreign-owned business, it’s unlikely going to rebrand just for one country. Historically, whatever Australia got, we got, with local adaptations in promotions.
Chatting at my bank of choice today, TSB, I said to the staffer: ‘What if Westpac is actually a front for international money-laundering through Triad gangs?’
I mean, they recently got stung to the tune of $961 million when the Inland Revenue Dept. sued over back taxes (also not good for its brand). So right now, it might want to ﬁnd ways of lightening its taxation burden.
I didn’t do ﬁnance at uni, so maybe there is some complex conspiracy going on here.
And since we get stereotyped by some ignoramuses for all looking the same, or, according to a former Tauranga MP now less relevant than the Fonz, we are supposedly all connected to Triad gangs (something which even more ignorant people believe), what if the bank is under some secret instructions to hand money over to any Chinese person?
There we are, Spooks scriptwriters, a plot line for you. Now can I meet Keeley Hawes? Posted by Jack Yan, 04:05
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