October 14, 2013

Banking in Lebanon: How to Make Simple Matters Very Complicated

There is a drive in this country,  that aims to complicate matters to the utmost. If things are simple, or could be simple, then it needs to be made difficult. Online banking in Lebanon  is a prime example for this.
I have been banking online for a number of years now with my bank in Holland, and never really ran into any problems. I can withdraw from my account and deposit it to whomever and whenever I like, as long as I have funds. Not so in Lebanon.  Online banking still requires me to go to the bank in person, which defeats the whole purpose of an online bank. See here and here.
Today, I can add another post to this list of ‘how can we make matters more complicated with online banking’.
I have an account on which I receive my salary (a current account), and a savings account, because I do not get any interest on the checking account. Today, I decided to move money from my current account to my savings account. All goes well, until I must push the last button to say I agree with the transaction.
Then I get this warning:

I  try again. Same warning. I call the bank.
 Ah, yes, there is only one day a month when you can transfer money.”
Come again? One day a month?
Yes, but I can give you some tips on how to circumvent this problem. If you can come to your branch then . . . .”
No I cannot come to my branch. That is why I have an online account!
Oh. Sorry. No, then I cannot help you.”
One day a month! ONE DAY A MONTH that I can transfer money from one account to another within the same bank and the same branch, both of which are mine. Can you believe this?


PepsiCanPat said...

Don't get me started on how my bank decided on their own to "upgrade" my debit card that I got a few months ago.

And by upgrade of course I mean terminate the current one two years before its expiry date without telling me in advance. Making me unable to withdraw money or pay anywhere.

Then require me to go to the bank to pick up a new one. That will be activated 24 hours later.

Eventually telling me the whole thing was done totally "for free" and I did not have to pay anything at all for all my trouble!

I still have no idea what's the difference between the two cards except the color...


Anonymous said...

I would never do online banking in Lebanon

Anonymous said...

LOL... At least they didn't tell you that you should have your husband's permission to transfer from one personal account to another(you had to have his permission to open the account, remember that farce). You've always had problems with BLOM. You should change not that HSBC is much better....


Sietske said...

I tried HSBC, left because of similar issues.