ON MAR­GIN

Finweek English Edition - - Piker -

STROLLING ROUND the auc­tion rooms at Stephan Welz/Sotheby’s last week­end, an­other col­league came upon Jean Doyle’s de­light­ful bronze sculp­ture of The Cel­list. She was re­minded of the acer­bic wit of con­duc­tor Sir Thomas Beecham when once con­fronted by a cel­list. “Madam,” he said, “be­tween your legs you have an in­stru­ment that could thrill thou­sands and all you do is sit and scratch it.” MAYBE FIRST NA­TIONAL BANK needs some help, a col­league of Piker sug­gests. Does the bank not re­alise that once a client is dead, it’s im­pos­si­ble to pro­vide Fica com­pli­ancy? Fica re­quires “a doc­u­ment prov­ing your res­i­den­tial ad­dress”. That stip­u­la­tion thus im­plies a di­rect line to heaven, hell, pur­ga­tory or wher­ever.

An ut­terly lu­di­crous sit­u­a­tion arose when a client, in try­ing to pay off a R1 500 credit card debt of the de­ceased, was told by FNB: “The ac­count is frozen. We can’t take your money un­til our KYC (Know Your Client) de­part­ment re­ceives the nec­es­sary Fica doc­u­ments en­abling us to ef­fect trans­ac­tions.”

For the record, the bank’s de­ceased es­tates sec­tion had been sent a death cer­tifi­cate four weeks be­fore. Yet af­ter that date FNB sent two let­ters ad­dressed to the de­ceased: the first one ask­ing for Fica doc­u­ments, the sec­ond threat­en­ing “to hand your ac­count over to our at­tor­neys”.

De­spite alert­ing FNB’s Credit Card di­vi­sion by email of the chain of events, the latest KYC caller still in­sisted the ac­count would re­main frozen un­til the Fica doc­u­ments were pro­vided…

FNB, how can we help you?

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