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Wibblywobbly's Achievements


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  1. The final chapter.

    My immobilier in Chateaubriant returned from a holiday in the States this week. We get on very well, so I dropped her an email telling her the saga so far. She simply picked up the phone, rang the bank, and they transferred the money.

    They claimed that they did not who I was, which was of course complete hogwash, they had more proof of my identity than you can shake a stick at.

    The exchange rate changes have probably cost me a couple of thousand in sterling, and I am not happy about that. If/when the MP or MEP get back to me, I will still ask them to look at what is going on in France, this 'hanging on to the money' is not right, and if it is costing customers large sums of money then something needs to be done. There is no reason why the bank cannot verify an identity, and complete the transfer in 1 day. It is not rocket science.

    May I take this opportunity to thank Idun for his assistance on this forum, it something that I appreciate more than words can say.


    Rob G

  2. The current situation.

    Emailed my Euro MP last week. No response.

    Emailed my local MP last week. No response.

    Emailed communication@ceidfp.caisse-epargne.fr which is the only email address that I can find for the Caisse D'Epargne Head Office. Returned as undeliverable three times.

    Does anyone know the correct email address for the head office?

    Rob G

  3. Thanks for the info, but trust me, they have had umpteen perfectly clear emails, acknowledged them, stated that all the documentation is in order, and had proof of the source of the funds. I have also faxed them the instruction, and sent the original by post. Despite me doing everything that they have requested within minutes of me getting an email, they have simply asked another question. In response to the question on day 1 "What do I need to do to transfer xxx,xxx euro's to HIFX?' they could have quite simply listed the requirements. Whatever they were, I would have done them. They didn't do that, they simply asked me for something else, and keep doing it, then when I provided it, asked me for something else. When they ran out of things to ask for, they said that a decision would be made at a meeting on 12th, following which they did nothing, and told me nothing, and still didn't make the transfer or tell me that they were not going to, or why...and still haven't.

    I have spoken with HIFX today, and they have sent confirmation to CD'E confirming that I have an account with them, and confirmation of their FSA credentials.

    Still no response from CD'E. They have simply gone silent.

    I will try the link that you gave, thanks for that, much appreciated.

    Rob G

  4. I have now sent copies of all communications to my Euro MP, highlighting not only my plight, but also advising him that this practice is being implemented by French banks nationally. I should perhaps mention that I was employed in the UK banking industry for many years, I have designed Europe wide banking platforms from the ground up, and well versed in FSA regs, money laundering legislation, and that I am fully aware that all requests for transfers should be processed the day that they are received. Cross border transfers should be a simple process, European banking legislation exists to allow this. The French banks are operating a virtual cartel of obstruction that has no grounds in law. It is obstruction, pure and simple.

    All that Caisse D'Epargne had to do on day 1 was confirm my identity, that the source of the funds was legitimate, and accept the instruction, then transfer the funds, the fact that they have not is beyond belief.

    Rob G

  5. And the latest update is, the Bank mediation contact simply emailed back to say that they were not qualified to handle the case, and gave me a postal address to write to. Using this will take over a week, they did not give me an email address.

    Despite saying that they would make a decision at a meeting Tuesday, they didn't. They simply emailed HIFX asking for a 'certificate', without stating what sort of certificate they wanted. They also emailed someone who is on maternity leave, so that has gone into a black hole.

    I have all but given up any hope of ever being able to get my money, they have effectively allowed it to be paid into my account and refused to transfer it to HIFX, refused to accept an email request, refused to accept a fax, and refused to accept the original posted signed copy of the fax. They will not respond to any questions requesting their requirements in order to transfer the money. I am now completely at a dead end, with no way of doing anything about it.

    Even if what they are doing is illegal, it will cost me a small fortune in legal fees to get the money, which means I may simply have to abandon the whole process, and forget it was ever mine. Such is life.

    Rob G

  6. The money has been there for over a month, I have the statements, plus the bank has confirmed it is there. They know that my spoken French is not good enough to undertake a telephone conversation, and refuse to take a call from a French speaking intermediary.

    Rob G

  7. Well, the fax went Sunday, it is now Monday evening and no response.

    I have sent an email containing th full dialogue and history of my dealings with Caisse D'Epargne to mediateur@fbf.fr and copied it to the Customer Services contact at the bank.

    I will have to wait till tomorrow to see if this elicits anything at all.

    Rob G

  8. Thanks for that info Idun, I have now sent them a signed fax, complete with all details, and will await their response. I will post the results on here.

    Rob G

  9. [quote user="idun"]

    Firstly is this money in your french bank yet? My french neighbour's sister waited months to get her money from the sale of her house as the notaires hung on to it.  She had not told them that she wanted it immediately and they made it clear that they were entitled to hold it.

    Our money from the sale of our house took a full week to get into our account which I was extremely unimpressed with, as I had been clear that we wanted it immediately.

    Also I would doubt that you would be able to do it on the web anyway if it was over 3000€ which I have been told is now a web limit for transfers in many french banks.

    So if the money is in your account what I would do is start again. I would fax the bank with a signed letter telling them that you want your money transferring. Make sure that you have  all the details on this letter.  HIFX's contract should have all the details on it. So, HIFX's bank's name and address, their SWIFT / IBAN to pay HIFX  and your customer account number with them. And the amount in words and figures, I always do that so that there is no confusion, even though on my transfer forms it does not request it.

    The reason I say 'fax' is that my french bank does not like emails for transfers and like to see a signature. If you can wait a few days then send them a signed letter confirming the fax and a fax.

    IF they refuse to let you have your money, then I would tell them that I was going to porte plainte against the bank, and I would, I would call the local gendarmerie if they had not acted within a couple of days.  


    They have had all of these details from day 1, plus my scanned signature on documents, plus the originals sent in the post. The big problem is that they will not respond to my question of 'what do I need to do'. eg :

    Pouvez vous confirmer :

    Est-ce qu'il est maintenant possible de compléter(d'achever) le transfert à

    HIFX ?


    Si je visite la banque(rive), puis-je compléter(achever) le transfert ?


    Concernant votre demande de virement, la décision sera prise par

    le comité de direction mardi 12 Juillet.

    As to what this is all about is anyone's guess?

    If they asked for a fax, I would happily send them one.

    Rob G

  10. I am guessing that the exchange rate would be nothing like as good as HIFX offer, plus I have no idea whether there would be any other hidden fees.

    The reason I haven't tried alternative routes is that they keep giving me the impression that if I respond to the latest request for information then the transfer will go ahead, but each time I satisfy their request, they ask another question. They won't even respond to simple questions such as 'what do I need to do to ensure that this transfer can proceed'.

    There has to be a way out of this nightmare, but I haven't a clue what it is.

    Rob G

  11. Did you get any luck with your transfer?

    I sold a property that completed 6 June, I returned to the UK 4 April, having first paid a visit to my bank to confirm that there would be no problem with the transfer of the fund to the UK.

    Then the nightmare started. There was no email address on the bank website, so I asked my immobiler to get one, and after a week I get an email from the bank. What did I want?

    I told them that I wanted funds transferred to my UK bank via HIFX, thinking that this would be simple, I gave them all of the details.

    I am then asked for:

    A copy of my passport.

    Utility bills.

    Evidence of Employment.

    Evidence of State Benefits.

    Copies of payslips.

    I also gave them the Immobilier and Notaire contact details.

    I send all of this.

    Two reminders for a reply and I am sent a form to sign confirming that I have no income???

    This was signed, scanned and sent back, the original went in the post.

    More reminders for a reply. No response.

    I even asked a French speaking friend (an immobilier 200 yards from the branch) to give them a call and find out what the problem was. They refused to talk to her as they do not have an account with them?

    I then send another email asking if the transfer can now go ahead, or do I need to drive down there and do this personally?

    I get an email not answering the question, but telling me that the matter has been referred to the 'Executive Committee', who will make a decision on 12 July? It doesn't even tell me what they are going to decide...???

    This is my worst nightmare. I have no idea how to transfer the money electronically on the website, I can't see anything that will allow me to do that, it's Caisse D'Epargne, so if it is possible and anyone knows how to do it, could they point me in the right direction, I would be eternally grateful.

    Rob G

  12. Littlejenny you are a star. I will see if I can track her down. I have to say that when I was looking for a property prior to buying this one, she spent almost an entire day taking me around the area and showing me properties. She knew I was looking for complete wrecks....and boy did she find some.

    Thanks again, I love forums. : )

    Rob G

  13. But what about sellers, why do they ignore those too? If I contact an estate agent in the UK they will be hammering on the door for my business within hours? I am not criticising the French way of conducting business, I am simply curious as to why anyone who runs a business does not want all the business that they can get. It costs nothing to respond to an email, and they can do it at a time that suits them, but they don't bother and that amazes me. Email is part of every business anywhere else, and usually a company will have a service standard of a reply within 24 hours. At the end of the day, if I was selling a house and the immobilier did not reply to my emails, my first thought would be, well if they are not replying to mine, how many potential buyers are they going to ignore if I place my property with them?

    It's a good test of any business that I contact. It tests their service standards and filters out the badly run ones so that I can avoid them.

  14. I understand the email thing, a friend who runs a business down here tells me that the most effective form of communication from a marketing perspective is ye olde fax. Although I have created websites for him, I have also had to create a fax template so that he can let people know that his business exists.

    What I find amusing is that the French put their email address on their websites, but when you use it, they ignore it? I guess that I will have to take a drive around the agents next week, I was just trying to save myself some legwork as I need  a ballpark valuation on my place for insurance purposes.

    Rob G

  15. I am looking for an English speaking agent in the Chateaubriant area, I know when I was looking 9 years ago there was an English girl that worked for one who showed me around 5 properties, but I cannot remember who she worked for. Are there any recommendations from the panel? Emails to various offices seem to go unanswered?

    Rob G

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