The Office of Checking and Savings Security

Thanks to my new bank account, I feel so much safer.

I decided to open a new checking account with a new bank because my old bank decided to impose a monthly charge on my “no monthly charge checking account” (which is a different bitch all together).

I walk in and speak with a nice, although not to quick, customer service rep. We start all the paperwork, I sign a few odd and ends, I hand her the opening deposit check and then she pulls out the “Homeland Security Questionnaire”.

CSR: I have to ask you a few questions from this check list. We have to do this because of 911.

Me: Oh yeah? What is it?

CSR: It’s an anti-terrorist checklist. There are only a few questions it won’t take long.

Me: So in a handful of questions you’re to decide if I’ll be using this account for terrorist money laundering? Do they really expect terrorists opening bank accounts in person to tell the truth?

CSR: It’s designed to determine your threat level. Like an early warning.

Me: Ok. Ask away.

SCR: Do you expect to be depositing more then $3000 at a time?

Me: I really couldn’t say. Perhaps.

SCR: Ok, we’ll check “no”. Next question, is anyone else going to be making deposits for you?

Me: They might.

SCR: But you don’t know for sure?

Me: I really couldn’t say at this point. Someone might.

SCR: We’ll put no.

She continued on like this. Every answer I gave was either an “I don’t know” or a “perhaps” and for each question she put down “no” for me.

What the hell is the point? Do they REALLY expect a terrorist to answer yes to questions intended to flag accounts? Wouldn’t account activity software be better suited to flag accounts automatically?

I guess just more US taxdollars at work to process this nonsense. (I figure this info doesn’t stay at the bank. I suspect it gets mailed off to some Homeland Security Department of Questionnaires Designed to Flag Terrorists but no Terrorists are Ever Flagged. -DQDFTTEF for short.)

I wasn’t asked to fill out this form myself, nor was I asked to sign it. It’s not like when you buy a handgun and they ask “do you intened to overrun the government” or “are you insane” or “do you have a history of beating the crap out of people” (or whatever silly questions they asked) and you check the boxes and sign your name.

With the bank, if asked, I could deny ever being asked those questions because they have no proof. The only handwriting on the form is the tellers.

Who’s good idea was this?

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