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PNB holding my cash deposit


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I opened a dollar and peso bank accounts with PNB last year and deposited cash, which I withdrew at intervals over some months period.  This year, I just returned from the US and deposited $9,000.00 into my dollar account.  I told the teller that I would need access to the money within the coming weeks.  She said that it is PNB's policy to hold the cash for 10 days.  I asked why, and she said to authenticate the bills.  I have never heard of this before.  She said that banks in the Philippines must comply, as it is a law.  

 

I asked why they couldn't check the bills there at the Fuente branch.  "There is a machine that does that, but we do not have one available at this branch."  I was not too happy about that but decided not to dispute it at that time.   But,  I idid immediately take back $3000.00 so as to have some money to exchange for pesos elsewhere.  

 

Watching the peso lose value daily, I patiently waited the 10 days and went back to withdraw $2000 this afternoon.  "Sir we are sorry, but we cannot let you withdraw the money until the 10 day waiting period."  I pointed out that the 10 days is already expired.  "No sir, it has to be 10 business days"  So, I said this is a bs policy and I want to close my dollar account immediately and go to another bank.  "Oh sir, please wait, I will check with my manager."  

 

She brought the manager over and said, "We can give you the money in pesos at 42.70"  I declined, saying that I could walk one block to the Rajah Hotel and exchange it for 43.30.  I then said if you want to give me 43.30, then I will just deposit it into my peso account and we will call it even.  "Oh, no sir, we cannot do that."  So, she goes into another huddle with her manager and comes back.   "Sir, we can let you withdraw the money, but you must pay a $10.00 fee for withdrawing the money before the 10 days is up."  At this point, I said that I have had enough of the runaround, and wanted to close my dollar account immediately.   "Sir, we cannot.  We are so sorry, sir, but you cannot close your account until the waiting period is expired next week."

 

I have known to expect a waiting period when one deposits personal checks, cashier checks, or money orders.  However, I have never heard about this holding period for cash deposit.  I told her that I intend to close my account as soon as I can withdraw the money, adding that I think this policy is bullsh*t and an unnecessary burden to place on the account holder.  I have watched the the peso devalue rapidly this week and could do nothing.  It is beyond me what purpose this policy serves, except to give the bank a guaranteed, interest free 2 weeks to use my cash for other transactions at my expense.  I am currently looking for another bank that has a good reputation as well no cash holding policy.  Any suggestions?  Thanks  

 

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Monsoon

Why bank with PNB? They don't offer anything special and from the sound of it are a hindrance to daily life for you. As for 'can not close' - were they refusing to let you withdraw your balance? Is it going to cost you more than $10 to wait the 10 days? 

 

I've never had either of my banks in the Philippines treat cash any other way than cash. 

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wow this is the type of policies that makes your blood boil .The sad thing is that no matter how many complaints they receive nothing will change .here the customer will never be the king.

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I deposited a large - ish amout of US Dollars for a friend into his HSBC account some years ago.  They photocopied every bill making what should have been a short time into a lengthy procedure.

 

Money changers used to record the serial numbers of Dollar bills - now no longer.

 

I've never encountered obfuscation as the OP describes with PNB.  For a while I had a Dollar savings with BPI and never had any trouble.

Edited by GoHuk
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@ Kreole. Maybe it might have been better to just exchange the cash at a good place and deposit it after. I do that with my ¥ every six months. Beats the bank rates.

 

I also use the Metrobank remittance service they have in other countries where they just remit money to your RPH account at given intervals. The service costs if I remember 400 peso per transaction

 

Or just SWIFT it all.

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Or just SWIFT it all.

 

What is SWIFT?  

 

I realize now that I should have never gone through with the deposit at all, but I just hate leaving so much cash in my hotel room.  In the future, I will just do the exchange and deposit the pesos.  At this point I have lost a full peso in value over the last week, and I don't intend to let that happen again.  I will close the PNB account since I now know there is NO LAW that requires them to hold cash for 10 business days.  It is true that they will never learn because they don't really care.  However, if a post like mine has any relevance, then people here will know to stay away from PNB.

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What is SWIFT?

 

I realize now that I should have never gone through with the deposit at all, but I just hte leaving so much cash in my hotel room. In the future, I will just do the exchange and deposit the pesos. At this point I have lost a full peso in value over the last week, and I don't intend to let that happen again. I wilha9 close the PNB account since I now know there is NO LAW that requires them to hold cash for 10 business days. It is true that they will never learn because they don't really care. However, if a post like mine has any relevance, then people here will know to stay away from PNB.

Even Filipino stay away. When Metrobank opened in town they all deserted PNB and Landbank Those that stayed with PNB have to come to Metrobank as their ATM is always offline.

 

SWIFT? The electronic transmission service they use here for sending or receiving monies. Just ask your new bank for their swift address and sort number if any. e.g.Your name, account number. The banks swift code and transmitted cash arrives in 3/4 days.

Edited by hyaku
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Skywalker

SWIFT transfers usually incur quite large fees, and they use the interbank exchange rates, which are designed to profit the banks first.

 

I bank with BPI, and I usually bring back a few thousand pounds when I return from London.  I change this at the moneychanger in Rustans, Ayala Mall and then just take it to the BPI branch there, and deposit it in my pesos account.

 

For larger transactions (buying cars or houses) I use a company called 'moneycorp online'.  They are always better than the interbank rate, and they only charge a fee if you transfer a smallish amount.

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BPI also holds dollar deposits 7 days unless I arrange first with the manager for them to not hold it and then I have had immediate access. Every hold in the Philippines I have encountered was in is business days. Whenever banking and depositing fairly large amounts of money, my advice would be to first introduce yourself to the manager of that branch and get their word they will not hold the money, after the deposit it is usually too late. 

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Mandingo

Same thing happened to us the first time we deposited USD into our Metro Bank dollar account, they held it for x amount of days before we could have access to it. I was not happy about it because they did not tell us about their policy prior to making the deposit. Wife just shrugged it off saying its the Philippines and no reason to get upset over since there is nothing we can do about it and we have enough cash to last until we do have access to the money in the bank. We always have extra cash stashed away in case something like that happens.

 

Now, even though it cost us more in fee's, we do a wire transfer from our U.S. bank a few days prior to us arriving so it's in the account waiting when we arrive. If we have a project and need more money later (over 10,000 USD) we set it up with our branch manager in the U.S. so I can send her a secured email online and she'll wire whatever amount we need. I just fill out the paperwork before I leave and she keeps the paperwork on file until I email. Nice that the U.S. branch manager is a Pinay and understands what I am doing. If it's below 10,000 USD then I just go online and do a normal wire transfer which takes 3 or 4 business days to clear.

Edited by Mandingo
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Headshot

BPI also holds dollar deposits 7 days unless I arrange first with the manager for them to not hold it and then I have had immediate access. Every hold in the Philippines I have encountered was in is business days. Whenever banking and depositing fairly large amounts of money, my advice would be to first introduce yourself to the manager of that branch and get their word they will not hold the money, after the deposit it is usually too late. 

 

Hmmm...  I have a credit union account in the US. I also have a BPI dollar account and a BPI peso account. I email my credit union in the evening to transfer funds to my BPI dollar account. By the morning of the next business day here in Cebu, the money is in my BPI dollar account (I check online), and is available for use. The wire transfer costs me $25 regardless of the amount (I have never sent more than $10,000 for tax reasons). If I want to transfer the money to my peso account, I go into any branch of BPI and move it across (which involves a currency exchange). The transfer costs me 50 pesos (about a dollar), so the entire process costs me about $26. BTW, BPI has the best exchange rate I have seen (with a very small margin). It is considerably better than anything I have seen at any of the currency exchanges at the malls. Their currency exchange rate changes constantly through the day, as the currency markets change (most currency exchanges use the closing value for the previous day for their rate basis...minus their larger margin).

 

Now...if you try to transfer money from a US account directly to your BPI peso account, the transfer has to go through the main BPI offices in Manila, and it can take a week or even more to access the money...so don't do that. As long as you are willing to go to the bank to transfer between BPI accounts, it is very fast. I haven't tried to transfer money between accounts online, but I suspect it also goes through Manila, which would mean considerable delays.

Edited by Headshot
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Metrobank use another source for transfer. So does my Japanese bank. Doesn't seem to hinder the process unless you send money near the weekend as it's out of banking hours. Sending to UK was also easy. As I said its all about exchange rates. Why use the banks bad rates when a money changer gives better? If it's a lot of money you lose a lot. I always check my banks rates before I change and it's always worst.

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Salty Dog

Hmmm... I have a credit union account in the US. I also have a BPI dollar account and a BPI peso account. I email my credit union in the evening to transfer funds to my BPI dollar account. By the morning of the next business day here in Cebu, the money is in my BPI dollar account (I check online), and is available for use. The wire transfer costs me $25 regardless of the amount (I have never sent more than $10,000 for tax reasons). If I want to transfer the money to my peso account, I go into any branch of BPI and move it across (which involves a currency exchange). The transfer costs me 50 pesos (about a dollar), so the entire process costs me about $26. BTW, BPI has the best exchange rate I have seen (with a very small margin). It is considerably better than anything I have seen at any of the currency exchanges at the malls. Their currency exchange rate changes constantly through the day, as the currency markets change (most currency exchanges use the closing value for the previous day for their rate basis...minus their larger margin).

 

Now...if you try to transfer money from a US account directly to your BPI peso account, the transfer has to go through the main BPI offices in Manila, and it can take a week or even more to access the money...so don't do that. As long as you are willing to go to the bank to transfer between BPI accounts, it is very fast. I haven't tried to transfer money between accounts online, but I suspect it also goes through Manila, which would mean considerable delays.

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