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BANK - ROBBERY???


fraise

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I opened a bank account with a branch of a large French bank and also arranged for funds to come over to cover work I was having done on my new house.  The money came into my account, and when I actually went in to withdraw some cash one Sunday I found to my horror that all my money had disappeared.  On the following Tuesday having had a sleepless night I went into the Branch to find that the Adviser I saw had opened two more accounts in my name and transferred all the money into these.  This had been done completely without my authority.  Also this has just happened to a friend of mine at the same Branch who had already opened an account, transferred funds in and having a large item to pay for requested a money transfer to be done, to be told that there were no funds in the account.  Subsequently they  found that the same Adviser had actually opened a form of ISA which would lock their money in for 3/5 years.  Again, no information had been passed to my friends and this had been done without their authority, furthermore because the funds were locked in it wasn't until Head Office was called that the account was closed and funds were released. 

Needless to say I tried to tackle the Adviser directly, but could never get hold of her and eventually due to the amount of work I was having done and other commitments and the general ambiance of living here - gave up.

I used to work for a Bank and I do know that in the UK this would be a sacking offence but we are both unsure as to whether this is a commonplace occurrence here.  Has anyone else experienced this kind of situation.  Obviously my friends were completely distraught and spent a lot of time and money on the phone (they are currently living outside France) sorting out both very annoyed artisans waiting for funds and also the car dealership waiting for the transfer. 

I am sure that there is a complaints procedure, but would be very interested to hear of anyone else who has experienced this kind of problem.  Surely it is against the Law to open accounts without the customers' authority and written permission???

Dazed and Confused

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Thanks for that information,  I received no notification of any kind, they took all my money out of the account.  Needless to say I now watch my account like a hawk.  I wondered if the Adviser was targeted on account opening!!!

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Scary or what?  We used to be with CA but got so fed up with them, we closed our account, after a lot and I mean a LOT of palaver and they paid out direct debits AFTER we had closed our accounts, etc. etc.  Claimed NOT to have received our letter requesting closure even though we took the letter in ourselves.

Now we are with la Poste and thinking of bring some thousands over as a deposit for a house so now I will make an appointment and speak with someone before doing anything.

Thanks for bringing this up.

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I think it must depend on the branch of CA that you deal with.

We've always has excellent service from ours. We see a young woman who speaks good english, and have changed our insurances to them too. No complaints up to now.

The one time we transferred a substantial sum to our UK bank they were very careful and handled it efficiently.

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Pat, I do believe that CA is not a "national" bank like say Lloyds TSB back home [:P]  For example, when I was with CA, we could only do banking activities in 17 Charente Maritime and 79 Deux Sevres.  Even in the next town, which is in 16, we couldn't, for example, pay in cheques and we had to stick to banks in our "area".

Similarly, when we had an account with Credit Mutuel in Brittany, we were asked to transfer our account to Charente Maritime when we ended up here.  Not only that, I wasn't allowed to transfer our joint account because OH wasn't with me and I was expected to produce all the usual identity, facture, etc etc

Would make me smile except I didn't feel a bit amused [:-))] 

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Hi, They have changed their system now and you can actually bank at any of their branches which is much better.  I agree the old system was like it used to be in the UK in the 70's.  I think one of the problems is that they seem to feel that once they've got your money in 'their' branch they don't actually have to consider you or consult you about what they do with it.  To lock in a considerable sum for 3/5 years without either consultation or written agreement from a customer is disgraceful in any bank.  I've had no complaints at all about transfers etc.  And I do agree in fairness to them that they have been efficient in dealing with cheque book issue etc.  It is purely this business of taking money which isn't theirs and doing what they feel like.  In the UK this would be a sacking offence for any bank personnel.  Some banks in the UK won't transfer joint accounts without joint signatures, similarly they can decline to close accounts without joint signature so some things are the same.   Needless to say my main funds stay with my UK internet account and I control that!!!   [:P]  Like you, it'll be a while before I'm ready to smile about this.

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I agree with you on that.  I went to a Branch which was handy to the Estate Agents I was buying my house through, but I now live not far from another Branch and the service is excellent there.  I deal with them locally and they have been fine.

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