Aug 18, 2010

Banks refusing to deal in fiddling small change

I went into AIB with €200 to lodge into my account. AIB refused to take my money. The teller informed me that this was company policy. AIB will only accept coins in specific numbers ie

€50 in €2 euro coins
€25 in €1 or 5c coins
€10 in 20c or 10c coins
€5 in 5c coins
€2 in 2c coins
€1 in 1c coins

I qualified for €10 in 10c coins and €2 in 2c coins and so managed to lodge €12 to my account. You'd think that a bank that is so close to failing would accept any deposit, especially after copious bailouts from the Irish taxpayer. I had no idea that banks could have a policy to refuse legal tender. When I looked it up, it turns out that according to the Economic and Monetary Union Act, 1998

No person, other than the Central Bank of Ireland and such persons as may be designated by the Minister by order, shall be obliged to accept more than 50 coins denominated in euro or in cent in any single transaction.

Does that mean I have to spend money on a ticket to Dublin to lodge my money? Anyone else think that this is idiotic? Maybe during the "Tiger" years people might have been embarrassed to pay with 2c coins. In the current depression, I think that'd probably changed. In Lidl the other day, I bought a few bottles of olive oil with 10c, 5c, 2c and 1c coins. The cashier had no problem with it. Those coins do add up.

I've been saving my change for a while now. I thought that it could be a rainy day fund and €200 is nothing to sneeze at. But, according to AIB it's fiddling small change. I wanted to pay my rent and the bank refused to accept my money. Strange times to live in.

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