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The "total incompetance" is often on both sides. I have dealt with this
several times. I just transferred money from my account at Dresdner Bank in
Munich to my account at B of A in the US. The German bankers (at least those
who talk to you on the phone) only knew about "Bankleitzahl (BLZ)" which is a
German thing or "IBAN" which is a European Union thing which the Americans have
never heard of ... and if the Americans have any international exposure, they
only know about "SWIFT". Many don't even have this international exposure and
all they know about if the domestic "routing number" terminology which is
basically a subset of the numbers on your checks.
Analogy: you're trying to get a person who only speaks Greek to communicate
with someone who only speaks Russian.
Being international people, you and I already have exposure to "Greek" and
"Russian" ... and it's up to us to educate the less-educated bank staff ... or
to ask for a supervisor or the general manager. Of course the higher-level
bank staff might be well aware of "Greek" and "Russian", but you normally don't
get to talk to them when you show up at a teller. What I noticed with
Dresdner Bank and B of A is that each bank prints account statements that only
have either "Greek" or "Russian" on the statement, but not both. That's why
most people get all confused. You need to find someone from works
behind-the-curtain who can explain to the bank staff where to find the missing
You might also also get a differing response if you go to a teller at a branch
inside JFK airport versus a branch in Outlook, MT.
Good luck. Keep trying. -chris
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Received on Fri Jan 16 2004 - 00:06:25 PST