Personal Finance

Anyone else have bad experiences with Scotiabank?

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Deal Fanatic
Mar 24, 2008
5510 posts
1552 upvotes
Toronto
Cerium398 wrote:
Jun 18th, 2015 7:04 pm
Overpaying your credit card so that you have an extremely large credit balance on your VISA (more than $1,000) is not considered to be a normal transaction.

Criminals who wish to launder "dirty" money often take out credit cards and then overpay with the money which is proceeds of crime and spend off the credit balance; or overpay the credit card and then walk into a branch and receive a cash advance in the form of a draft and continue to layer the dirty money throughout the financial system, so that they may withdraw it at a later date when it is "cleaned" money.

I've worked for two banks - they spend time training the front line staff on how to recognize these transactions.
Wait, why would they overpay using dirty money (cash) and then either spend or withdraw as cash/draft again? Why not just spend the cash wherever you want without being flagged to begin with or walk into a branch and have a draft made (using the same cash). IMO, your bank "training" to spot these transactions is a waste of yours and your customer's time.
Deal Addict
Nov 25, 2014
1723 posts
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Newton Brook, ON
Cerium398 wrote:
Jun 18th, 2015 7:04 pm
Overpaying your credit card so that you have an extremely large credit balance on your VISA (more than $1,000) is not considered to be a normal transaction.
And yet they sell a product specifically for this purpose:
Scotiabank® Prepaid Reloadable VISA card

Maximum card balance and purchase amount $2,400.
:confused:
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Jan 4, 2009
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on the links
mpt wrote:
Jun 18th, 2015 11:34 pm
This was well after 9/11, I'm upset that she cared more about keeping money in Scotia earning MER fees on my money then she did on my money. Someone who actually cares about peoples' finances would've told me to get out of the market.

Remember I asked her specifically, should I be pulling out and her response was, it's going to go down but remember you are in it or the long run so it won't matter down the road. I was dumb enough and trusted her; I've learned from those mistakes

If you remember the markets they didn't drop significantly in Canada until years after 9/11. Happened in what 2008?
2008?? You called it a post-911 market crash...that's being just a bit loose with the timeline.

Irregardless, it sounds like her advise was more sound than you're giving credit. Long term means just that. I've held some good quality stocks for 25-30 years, through many downturns including the financial crisis.
Sr. Member
Apr 28, 2014
675 posts
174 upvotes
Oakville, ON
ksgill wrote:
Jun 19th, 2015 12:09 pm
Wait, why would they overpay using dirty money (cash) and then either spend or withdraw as cash/draft again? Why not just spend the cash wherever you want without being flagged to begin with or walk into a branch and have a draft made (using the same cash). IMO, your bank "training" to spot these transactions is a waste of yours and your customer's time.
Because they are moving the money around the financial system in the form of various products and through various different financial institutions to disguise where it came from and make it hard to trace. Otherwise known as "layering".

If you got hundreds of thousands of dollars sitting around that is the proceeds of crime, you can't spend it all in one place at one time. Plus it's not only banks that are required to report cash deposits or cash transactions of more than $10,000 CDN or equivalent:

http://fintrac.gc.ca/publications/guide ... g.asp#s2-7

The requirement also extends to entities such as real estate agents, securities dealers, and casinos. Sure, you can have it sit around as cash in a safe I suppose, but then you can only spend so much at one time without triggering the requirement for whomever you are dealing with to file a Large Cash Transaction Report with FINTRAC.

What good is having all this cash lying around, making zero interest and losing purchasing power every year due to inflation, if you can't spend it in the manner you want without having the transaction logged and reported? Therefore, you have to run the cash through the financial system to turn it into a different form so that you can spend it.

You are entitled to your opinion; but mine is actually informed because I worked in the industry. Governments and banks don't want to be used as intermediaries through which criminals move their ill-gotten gains.
Sr. Member
Apr 28, 2014
675 posts
174 upvotes
Oakville, ON
nmclean wrote:
Jun 19th, 2015 12:42 pm
And yet they sell a product specifically for this purpose:



:confused:
Prepaid cards are acceptable so long as they cannot be loaded more than $10,000 at a time and the customer cannot have more than one at the same bank; this conforms with FINTRAC regulations and Anti-Money Laundering practices.
Deal Addict
Nov 25, 2014
1723 posts
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Newton Brook, ON
Cerium398 wrote:
Jun 19th, 2015 1:17 pm
Prepaid cards are acceptable so long as they cannot be loaded more than $10,000 at a time and the customer cannot have more than one at the same bank; this conforms with FINTRAC regulations and Anti-Money Laundering practices.
In your earlier post you said a credit balance of more than $1,000 is suspicious. Was that a typo?
Sr. Member
Apr 28, 2014
675 posts
174 upvotes
Oakville, ON
nmclean wrote:
Jun 19th, 2015 1:25 pm
In your earlier post you said a credit balance of more than $1,000 is suspicious. Was that a typo?
No it was not; when I worked at Telephone Banking for BMO, I was trained that for anyone who wanted to do a real-time transfer from bank account to MasterCard or Line of Credit, which would result in the balance of that credit product being overpaid by more than $1,000, that was a "red flag" and the transaction required higher scrutiny.

After doing a profile review, as long as I was satisfied that all was okay, I would perform the transaction - but I did have to log what occurred and that I did do the profile review.

I know it seems inconsistent from what I said regarding the prepaid card - but that was BMO and their policies. Maybe other banks have different policies. Also, keep in mind, if you needed to spend more than your credit limit on your MasterCard, why not just call MasterCard and request a Limit Increase instead of overpaying it? I think that was BMO's mindset when they put that policy in place.

Granted, I will admit, that having that policy in place while at the same time having a prepaid MasterCard product that can go up to $10,000 maximum in loaded funds seems a little nonsensical:

http://www.bmo.com/main/personal/credit ... edit-cards
Deal Fanatic
Mar 24, 2008
5510 posts
1552 upvotes
Toronto
Cerium398 wrote:
Jun 19th, 2015 1:48 pm
No it was not; when I worked at Telephone Banking for BMO, I was trained that for anyone who wanted to do a real-time transfer from bank account to MasterCard or Line of Credit, which would result in the balance of that credit product being overpaid by more than $1,000, that was a "red flag" and the transaction required higher scrutiny.

After doing a profile review, as long as I was satisfied that all was okay, I would perform the transaction - but I did have to log what occurred and that I did do the profile review.

I know it seems inconsistent from what I said regarding the prepaid card - but that was BMO and their policies. Maybe other banks have different policies. Also, keep in mind, if you needed to spend more than your credit limit on your MasterCard, why not just call MasterCard and request a Limit Increase instead of overpaying it? I think that was BMO's mindset when they put that policy in place.
But spending $1000+ on the same credit card/LOC and then paying the bill from the same bank account "in real time" is acceptable. As long as it is not a positive balance we can all rest assured that it was not dirty money.
Sr. Member
Apr 28, 2014
675 posts
174 upvotes
Oakville, ON
ksgill wrote:
Jun 19th, 2015 1:53 pm
But spending $1000+ on the same credit card/LOC and then paying the bill from the same bank account "in real time" is acceptable. As long as it is not a positive balance we can all rest assured that it was not dirty money. Makes sense since the perpetrator(s) can't spend on cc before paying the bill with dirty money.
Fine; then call BMO Direct Banking right now and tell them how stupid their polices are.

I'm sure we have better things to do today then debate the usefulness of this stuff.
Deal Addict
Nov 25, 2014
1723 posts
924 upvotes
Newton Brook, ON
Cerium398 wrote:
Jun 19th, 2015 1:48 pm
No it was not; when I worked at Telephone Banking for BMO, I was trained that for anyone who wanted to do a real-time transfer from bank account to MasterCard or Line of Credit, which would result in the balance of that credit product being overpaid by more than $1,000, that was a "red flag" and the transaction required higher scrutiny.

After doing a profile review, as long as I was satisfied that all was okay, I would perform the transaction - but I did have to log what occurred and that I did do the profile review.

I know it seems inconsistent from what I said regarding the prepaid card - but that was BMO and their policies. Maybe other banks have different policies. Also, keep in mind, if you needed to spend more than your credit limit on your MasterCard, why not just call MasterCard and request a Limit Increase instead of overpaying it? I think that was BMO's mindset when they put that policy in place.

Granted, I will admit, that having that policy in place while at the same time having a prepaid MasterCard product that can go up to $10,000 maximum in loaded funds seems a little nonsensical:

http://www.bmo.com/main/personal/credit ... edit-cards
Yes it is totally nonsensical... and the idea that you could request a credit limit increase doesn't make it any less so. Not everyone is going to be approved. If anything up to $10,000 is "normal", then there is no reason why someone should be scrutinized for giving themselves an effective credit limit of $10,000 by overpaying their $5000 limit card by another $5000, for example.
Sr. Member
Apr 28, 2014
675 posts
174 upvotes
Oakville, ON
nmclean wrote:
Jun 19th, 2015 1:59 pm
Yes it is totally nonsensical... and the idea that you could request a credit limit increase doesn't make it any less so. Not everyone is going to be approved. If anything up to $10,000 is "normal", then there is no reason why someone should be scrutinized for giving themselves an effective credit limit of $10,000 by overpaying their $5000 limit card by another $5000, for example.
Ok; then both you and ksgill get on the horn right now to BMO Direct Banking and tell them so - again, I got other stuff to do today.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 24, 2008
5510 posts
1552 upvotes
Toronto
Cerium398 wrote:
Jun 19th, 2015 1:57 pm
Fine; then call BMO Direct Banking right now and tell them how stupid their polices are.

I'm sure we have better things to do today then debate the usefulness of this stuff.
I agree but you were arguing that these policies are necessary to prevent money laundering. I am just pointing out the uselessness of these policies that are made by people who don't understand the first thing about how criminals work. Casinos, foreign properties, setting up and operating shell companies, giving money to your relatives etc. are way higher on the scale when it comes to techniques used for money laundering than overpaying your Visa.

As far as calling them is concerned, I don't need to. As I stated in the beginning, these policies are designed to just waste yours and your customers time. Not sure what you are taking an offence to, you are merely doing your job.
Deal Addict
Nov 25, 2014
1723 posts
924 upvotes
Newton Brook, ON
Cerium398 wrote:
Jun 19th, 2015 2:03 pm
Ok; then both you and ksgill get on the horn right now to BMO Direct Banking and tell them so - again, I got other stuff to do today.
If you're going to get annoyed, it ought to be directed at your employers who forced you to perpetuate a nonsensical practice, not at us for pointing out the fact that it's nonsensical.
Sr. Member
Apr 28, 2014
675 posts
174 upvotes
Oakville, ON
nmclean wrote:
Jun 19th, 2015 2:07 pm
If you're going to get annoyed, it ought to be directed at your employers who forced you to perpetuate a nonsensical practice, not at us for pointing out the fact that it's nonsensical.
I'm not going to take lessons on social etiquette from two strangers on a bulletin board.

Have a nice weekend
Deal Addict
Nov 25, 2014
1723 posts
924 upvotes
Newton Brook, ON
Cerium398 wrote:
Jun 19th, 2015 2:12 pm
I'm not going to take lessons on social etiquette from two strangers on a bulletin board.

Have a nice weekend
I see that you were indeed a perfect fit as a BMO telephone banking representative.

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