St George Bank does my head in

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St George Bank called me the other day. The man said, ‘Mr Nader, I am from St George Bank. Before we can go any further, I need to identify you. May I please have your date of birth.’ Believe me friends, I am a mild-mannered person. I never swear or use bad language. I am happy and jolly. But this poor man copped the rough side of my tongue. I did this on purpose, praying that he was recording the conversation. I knew that it was not his fault, and that he was following the script given to him by St George Bank. I was hoping that he would feel the need to escalate my rant to a supervisor who would find the recording so bad that they would escalate it to a senior manager who would listen to my concerns. Anyone calling me out of the blue and asking me for my date of birth must be as stupid as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia as noted in this entry.

The caller from St George Bank (now part of Westpac) would not have known what hit him. I hung up in disgust and went online (logged in) and sent an email to the bank, expressing my concern. The next day I received a call from St George, and guess what the lady said? ‘Hello Mr Nader, I am calling about the email you sent to us last night in relation to the call you received. Before I can go any further, can you please provide me with your banking password.’

Drop me dead. What kind of brain-power do these people employ. Here I am, complaining that the banks must never call and ask for private information, and here she is, calling me to discuss the matter, asking me for my sacred password! Even if she knew me and I knew her, that is not the point. We cannot allow the public to believe that they should ever divulge that information to anyone over the phone. It is so risky. Identity theft is rife. How can St George Bank, and the Commonwealth Bank, and American Express do this?

Stupidity is too mild a word for this brainless procedure. Yet, St George Bank is rich and clever and large and complex and it employs nice people, some of whom are my friends. But the fact that the bank has a Board of Directors with all sorts of committees, along with a CEO and thousands of staff, makes me think: surely I cannot be the only one to be banging my head.

Perhaps we need a new word to describe unfathomable stupidity… how about Banking my head against a wall!

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