Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fees to Deposit Money in the Bank!?

So I opened a dollar account recently at Askari Bank in Lahore. The minimum initial deposit was $500, so I changed some rupees into dollars and deposited it. Today when I went to check on the account balance, it was only $497! I was confused and asked the guy, "Where did the $3 go since I deposited $500?"

"There is a cash handling fee," he replied.

I was thinking (but didn't say), "What? A fee for handling cash? Isn't that what a bank does?"

I read the account opening forms thoroughly, and I don't remember it saying anything about a cash handling fee for foreign currency accounts.

If I'm going to lose money every time I make a deposit, then why should I keep an account there? Maybe this 'cash handling fee' is normal in Pakistan, but if I put in dollars into a dollar account, I don't understand why there should be any fee. Banks here don't do currency exchange, you have to go to Western Union or other money changers to do that, and there you lose a bit of value when you exchange currency. If you open a dollar account at Askari Bank, you will lose some money when you exchange your money into dollars, and then you'll lose more money when you pay the cash handling fee.

If the 'cash handling fee' is normal for foreign currency accounts, the bank employees should at least tell you before you open the account.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

For currency exchange, dont go to western union, go to local dealers at "Shimla Pahari. THey give you so good rates that you would be surprised where do they make their money. This cash handling fee is strange to me too and seems fishi. you can ask around in other banks.

Abdul Sami said...

it is not normal

i had a dollar account in habib bank... no handling fees... though if your account went under $0.50 i think they had a charge or something...

which was obviously not the hardest thing to do !