• Last Updated:
  • Nov 11th, 2017 10:36 pm
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Oct 19, 2016
397 posts
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Toronto
I wouldnt worry about it too much. They probably just need to verify that it is you indeed and not a fraudster.

Its a hassle though to travel just for this purpose.

BiegeToyota wrote:
Nov 3rd, 2017 10:53 am
I opened account from Canada with US BMO Harris bank branch in Chicago.

For the past 7 years I haven't had any problems with the account and have been using it extensively in Thailand for the past 4 years.

Today, however, my debit card was blocked and after I spoke with the customer service they also promptly restricted my access to online banking.

I was told that I needed to call a branch to resolve this issue. The branch told me there is no other way to resolve this, but to come in person to verify my identity. Called again the phone help and still no help whatsoever.

So, in a nutshell, to access my money (there is around 30k in the account) I need to take a trip from Thailand, back to Canada and then go to Chicago to "verify my identity".

This is going to cost me a lot of money and time and I will be promptly closing my account.

It is important to note that I checked my account literally 5 minutes before they shut it down and everything looked absolutely normal. I haven't done anything out of the ordinary than what I normally do.

The problem with me going back is not just the time and money this is going to cost me, but also the potential issues at the border. I mean, what am I supposed to say to the customs officer? I am going to USA to unblock my account? They will certainly look at me like a suspect. I am also worried that at the branch they may look at my passport and documents and say this is not sufficient. Yes, after this I am extremely paranoid now. I did nothing wrong and I feel extremely dirty. Does this bank not have a fraud team that can check your information over the phone? What are the security questions for?

I am sure that most accounts with BMO Harris are fine, but if there is a problem be prepared to travel to USA.

Extremely frustrated.
[OP]
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Dec 13, 2016
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starchoice wrote:
Nov 3rd, 2017 3:07 pm
Do you have any other accounts at BMO? Did you try calling the BMO branch where you opened it to see if they can help you?

I am guessing also that like any other bank account, there should be no reason why you could not get one bank (where you do business) to request a transfer from the other bank. It happens all the time. Your bank will get all the paperwork prepared and all you do is sign.
My electronic deposit got rejected. I can't do transfers. The account is frozen.

Of course I called a branch manager and it's him who said I need to come in person.

No other accounts with bmo.
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Apr 11, 2006
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BiegeToyota wrote:
Nov 3rd, 2017 2:55 pm
I opened it in Canada by visiting a bmo branch. I think a bmo employee set it up for me by mailing stuff to USA. I never stepped a foot in USA.

I am just hoping I'd be able to somehow unfreeze it in Canada by visiting a bmo big wig who could perhaps vouch for me and my identity. Anyway....
Hopefully, visiting that same BMO branch in Canada where they set it up for you, will suffice so that you don't have to travel all the way to US. I would hope they would have the originating branch on file (which would indicate it's this branch in Canada).
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Oct 13, 2007
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BiegeToyota wrote:
Nov 3rd, 2017 3:12 pm
My electronic deposit got rejected. I can't do transfers. The account is frozen.

Of course I called a branch manager and it's him who said I need to come in person.

No other accounts with bmo.
No, this is not what I am talking about; rather, you go to one institution and say you want your money transferred from another institution. Basically, you are moving your account (closing the other one) and opening one at the new institution with the new institution handling everything.
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Feb 29, 2012
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UrbanPoet wrote:
Nov 6th, 2017 5:53 pm
Double triple check. Just bc its bmo harris doesnt mean it can be fixed with bmo canada.

In bmo canada we just verify id and send it off to harris to open up the account.

Theres no processes for us to do anything for or with bmo harris accounts @ the branch level.
That's correct. I was amazed how little relationship there is between BMO Canada and BMO Harris. I thought part of the purpose of BMO buying a U.S. bank was to develop some cross-border services for Canadian customers, but apparently not.
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Aug 18, 2005
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Banks hate non-resident accounts. It's because it's unlikely they will be able to sell you other products that only residents would want. Never tell them you're living abroad, etc.
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[OP]
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Jucius Maximus wrote:
Nov 7th, 2017 10:12 am
Banks hate non-resident accounts. It's because it's unlikely they will be able to sell you other products that only residents would want. Never tell them you're living abroad, etc.
Literally at the airport catching a flight.

I think there is no way to not tell them as this account is a non resident account by nature.
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Nov 22, 2015
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BiegeToyota wrote:
Nov 7th, 2017 11:29 am
Literally at the airport catching a flight.

I think there is no way to not tell them as this account is a non resident account by nature.
You should be flying to Chicago if anything... highly, highly doubt that a BMO branch in Canada will be able to help you at all.
[OP]
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Dec 13, 2016
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superfresh89 wrote:
Nov 7th, 2017 11:38 am
You should be flying to Chicago if anything... highly, highly doubt that a BMO branch in Canada will be able to help you at all.

It doesn't matter. I get to see my mom.
[OP]
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Dec 13, 2016
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I have been helped.

I have been helped so much by BMO Canada even though I'm not even their client.

As a matter of fact I am having second thoughts about leaving this great country instead of dealing with my own trivial issues and staying and contributing. I would never in a million years receive such a great customer service from a Thai bank or any other institution there unless I was stuffing them with brown envelopes.

Canada accepted me from my 3rd world war torn country and I left it for another 3rd world country. I feel so stupid for doing this.

I guess this is my post of regret. I will find a way and pay this country back. Take me back and take my money. I am actually very emotional right now.

Thank you for reading.
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Feb 25, 2014
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BiegeToyota wrote:
Nov 9th, 2017 9:50 pm
I have been helped.

I have been helped so much by BMO Canada even though I'm not even their client.

As a matter of fact I am having second thoughts about leaving this great country instead of dealing with my own trivial issues and staying and contributing. I would never in a million years receive such a great customer service from a Thai bank or any other institution there unless I was stuffing them with brown envelopes.

Canada accepted me from my 3rd world war torn country and I left it for another 3rd world country. I feel so stupid for doing this.

I guess this is my post of regret. I will find a way and pay this country back. Take me back and take my money. I am actually very emotional right now.

Thank you for reading.
So how they solve the problem
Oh sada kehra bapu karda black nee, Jehra tere shahir (Toronto), Le lawan flat nee
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May 4, 2014
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BiegeToyota wrote:
Nov 9th, 2017 9:50 pm
I will find a way and pay this country back. Take me back and take my money.
You can start by repurchasing a Beige Corolla. The RFD community will be the first to take you back with open arms and crown you a king.
Jr. Member
Feb 13, 2015
112 posts
19 upvotes
Toronto
BiegeToyota wrote:
Nov 7th, 2017 11:29 am
Literally at the airport catching a flight.

I think there is no way to not tell them as this account is a non resident account by nature.
Not true. TD gave me a hard time when my alternate contact number was my US cell phone.
My advise is look at cross country banking with another major bank which has some presence closeby. I use HSBC only for this purpose (although they are the worst Canadian bank, you can do cross border banking in a few seconds). You can always take a stopover in Hong Kong and deposit your entire funds there from your BMO US/Canada account.
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Feb 10, 2007
9781 posts
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Had the same issue yesterday with TD. Ending up closing all my accounts/cards with them.

Banks need to come up with new ways to verify people, just because of failing security questions shouldn't be defaulting to "goto local branch"
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