Digital Age

This post is a rant. I can offer no solutions, no help. Some sympathy perhaps but that’s not terribly useful.

The story: we’re moving house. So we need to deal with lawyers and mortgage companies. For sound reasons, they both need to prove that we’re not laundering money.

Frankly, until I had to do a number of anti-money laundering courses at work I would have had no idea how to launder money. I’d be stuck like the characters in Office Space looking up the definition in a dictionary. Or, more to the point, looking it up online.

We’re not laundering money in case there was any doubt. But these days it’s really tricky to prove otherwise.

They ask for a record of your funds that is less than three months old, official and with your name, account number and address shown. This doesn’t sound unreasonable until you actually look in your files.

My bank doesn’t send me statements. The online version does not include my address. I can change my address but I can see no record of my current one.

My investments statement shows all the required details but they only send them once a year, so for three-quarters of the year they are not suitable. The numbers are available online but include none of the details and no date.

Only one of the financial services companies that I use has monthly statements with all the details they ask for. Of course, that’s the account that I don’t really need for this transaction.

Much of what I do is online these days, much at the behest of the same banks that make this whole process so complicated. Can they not see that their own customers are unable to provide the details that they are legally required to obtain?

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