QUESTION: A bank manager at a local bank called and began asking questions about a wire transfer to Panama that we had some difficulty sending. We are purchasing a small house and land in Panama and this was the earnest money of $16,000. She was asking why I was buying the land, when I planned to move there, where I got the money, (I have several business accounts at this bank with large sums of cash in some of them). Do I have an obligation to give her the info? What are the repercussions if I refuse to answer her questions. The interrogation lasted for 25 minutes.
ANSWER: The hunt for money is getting really bad. Everyone is now simply guilty and you must prove you have nothing to hide. It is getting really insane. We have 3 accounts at a major bank. I went to open another for a local company. I was told I had to mail a letter addressed to myself to our legal headquarters in Delaware to prove I received it and then mail it back to myself. When I pointed out that was just the incorporation address and this was a registered Florida company, it made no difference. When I pointed out we already had three accounts with them, they said that did not matter and they could not look at that and must treat every account as if they did not know who the person was. I just walked out and went to a different bank.
Everything these people are doing is just nuts. We cannot sell 1 year subscriptions anymore despite the fact we have done so for 40 years. Some person in the back office is making up rules they think are to prevent the bank from any liability and are filling files on everyone as a cover-your-ass requirement. The rules differ from bank to bank.
The repercussion are not legal. They will just close your current accounts.