win_20190127_120036 Two days ago I promised to flesh out my experiences of trying to extract money from various UK financial institutions, while dealing with more examples of the Macronisation of France. The point is to try and motivate people to keep what little money they’ve got left away from the clutches of the public finances and the banks; but the usual caveat applies – I’m not a financial adviser, and only you can make sound decisions in the light of your unique circumstances.

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Getting back into active investment after five years of deep-freezing one’s assets is a bit like restoring an old property. You set off with a set of clear objectives, but every last item investigated generates new and more pressing objectives.

For sovereign legal, personal litigational and FCA reasons, I can’t name either of the institutions (or indeed the tax office here in France) involved at this stage. It’s the structures and practices that are the worrying part….and they don’t need to be branded to cause alarm.

For starters, however, I can tell you this: not only did the French Trésor Public here simply stick a shovel into my bank account and extract €1363 two months ago, they also did so based on false information, and a somewhat cavalier interpretation of tax statute limitations. They also, in just one year, doubled my land tax from €714 to €1483. Over that same period, auto diesel prices leapt from €1.29 to €1.58 – all of it tax, rather than oilco market manipulation.

The consequent formation (and popularity) of the Gilets Jaunes are thus easy to comprehend. Their revolt has reduced income to the State via autoroute tolls and tax redactions on fuel – the result being that France’s central government now has an official deficit between expenditure and receipts of 35%. Equally easy to understand is the blatant censorship of GJ coverage in the UK. This brilliant piece from Off-Guardian is a welcome, but exceptional, breath of fresh air.

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The first thing to grasp when digesting blogposts like this one is that there is no longer any line of separation between the four hobgoblins we face – State bureaucracy, globalist business, banking and senior politicians. Similarly, when one drills down into the fiscality and finances of the State, there is no separation at all between a pension “trustee” and large unstable banking groups, or a Treasury official and a multinational tax avoidance department.

Some specific lessons are quickly learned in this horribly inbred little society.

Pension Trustees are not what they were

Today they are almost all part of large financial groups, and within those groups there are more moral hazards than any metaphorical pilgrim ever encountered. I discovered that my trustees are owned by a world famous banking organisation, and they ‘ringfence’ my pension either there, or in a small UK bank with a regrettable debt structure. Both these facts are casually censored, even when one asks directly: it took me four goes by phone and secured message to establish the details. I have moved swiftly to ensure that neither bank enjoys any of my pension cash; you will find that your trustees move rather more slowly, and demand IDs via snail mail.

Trustees today are placing ringfence business on the basis of returns to them, not safety for the pensioner.

It would be a foolish person who trusted Government bailout guarantees.

These are currently €85,000 in the eurozone and £75,000 in the UK. If you work out two things – the interconnection of US, developing world and European banking on the one hand, and the amount of money available to heavily indebted Sovereign countries across the piece on the other – to honour even the eurobank and UK liabilities would implode the Treasuries involved, and require the sort of fiat money creation bound to produce both huge tax hikes and hyperinflation in very short order.

Whichever way States jump on this ‘honour or welch’ issue, your insurance will be either 90+% devalued or worthless respectively.

The leveraging of US banks, debt exposure of UK banks and fundamentally insolvent nature of eurobanks ranging from DeutscheBank to BancaCariga are ample reasons to expect much State hand-wringing, but no effective action.

If you’re going to withdraw money to invest in precious metals, don’t tell the bank

I really should have known better. Trying to do it online, I sent a secure message saying I wanted to close an eBond and transfer the money to a metals dealer. These are the replies I got….I’ll spare you my incandescent rants in between each vapid response.

  1. Much tooth-sucking at the bank. Oh dear, er, yes, how to close an eBond? Um, better to transfer it to your current account.
  2. Oh dear, the recipient is outside Europe. Hmm, that’s unusual. And a dealer, not a bank. We can’t help you, I’m afraid.
  3. Ah, I see, the dealer has a bank account. Thanks for sending us the details, but the only way you can do that trnasfer is to go online and use Swift. Our Swift team will need five days to prepare the transfer, and then another six days to complete it.
  4. Yes, I know it’s very slow Mr Ward but the team says they can’t hurry it up I’m afraid.
  5. Hello Mr Ward, I’ve been given your complaint. This sort of transfer can’t be done using secure messaging oline, you will have to either dial our telephone banking number, or go into our branch.

My branch is 800 miles away, and the number they gave me went through via a crackly line to an Androidette who told me she could only deal with internal domestic account transfers.

At this point, I threatened to move all my business out of the organisation and make a formal complaint to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

All communications from the institution now stopped.

So I did what I should have done at the outset – use Transferwise. I’ve used this outfit for relatively small transfers all over the world for five years now, but for some reason I had the feeling that this big a transfer would be out of their league. Far from it: the service was, as always, impeccable, the site user friendly and the voice help both pleasant and fast.

I have now done in 4 days what my UK bank had taken 11 working days not to do, and wanted another 7 on top to do something which, using SOL transfer technology, takes less than 0.00001 of a second.

Transferwise could’ve done it in 24 hours, but the problem remained that they were dealing with a bank at the other end, and the bank at my end still refused to let me send more than £10,000 a day online to Transferwise.

The saga I went through is now the subject of a detailed complaint to the FCA, although to be frank, I expect very little in the way of compensation to come out of it.

I must make it clear at this point that I have no financial interest in – nor am I in any way associated professionally with – Transferwise.

Do you know what your bank’s withdrawal limit is?

I admit that – as a massive long-term depositor with my UK bank – I had no idea at all that the sum total of electronic access to my money is 2.5% per day.

At that rate, it is going to take you five weeks to get your money out online or over the phone.

The maximum you can withdraw via an ATM is only 25% of that.

This is your own money we’re talking about here.

The only way to effect this more quickly is by going to your branch….and even then, you will have to make an appointment.

Last week, Santander Bank announced a decision to close all its branches in the UK.

I wonder why?

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There are, ultimately, simple lessons to be learned from my experiences.

  • So long as your intention is to remove any part of your money from the grasp of the banking system – however indirectly remote that connection might be – very large obstacles will be put in your way
  • If you wish to do so with anything from bitcoin to natural resources in mind, the obstacles will be on the level of Stonehenge large bits
  • There is a limited window available for precious metals investment, because the Central banks and their allies want it all to themselves
  • The reforms suggested after Crash1 have been resisted, undermined, diluted and ignored to ensure that the fatties got fatter, and Crash2 will make its predecessor seem a minor correction by comparison.

Do whatever you think your circumstances require. But for Heaven’s sake do something.