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Money takes nanoseconds to travel continents, a week to cross Bangkok

We live in an age of electronic banking, don't we? The correct answer is "yes", but only it when it suits the bank, apparently!

Last Friday my overseas bank efficiently, but for a fee, remitted a substantial sum to my Thai bank account. The international transaction took nanoseconds, as I discovered after painstakingly tracking and tracing why the money was a "no show".

Enter the hi-tech, savvy, computerised Citibank Bangkok, which I discover is the so-called intermediary bank, a bank with whom I have no contractual or other relationship. "Yes we have your money and you will receive it next Wednesday, in five days time".

Ahhh, so it crossed the ether at the press of a button but will take five days to cross the street in Bangkok, again, for another fee! The self-serving fiction of the "business day" raises its ugly head to reap an unjustifiable double benefit for Citibank at considerable expense to me in terms of cash and inconvenience. This leads me to ask, are we fools, or are the banks thieves who should be brought to account with tighter regulation? Is this not an absolutely unconscionable rip-off? Is it not time for a little financial reform to bring greedy banks into line, General Prayuth?

Philip Nicholls


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