It’s the end of the month! Everyone is waiting for the sms telling them that their accounts have been credited with their salaries.

I recently got a loan from a bank, let’s call it Bank A. Initially, my salary used to be transferred to Bank B, which was the same as my employer’s, so I didn’t pay transfer fees. One of the conditions of the loan was that the company I work for has to transfer my salary to Bank A directly every month, i’m guessing as a guarantee.

I got the sms telling me that my salary had been transferred minus 13 dollars.

Customer service at both banks told me the 13$ are split as follows:
– 10$ transfer fee from Bank B to Bank A
– 3$ receiving fee for Bank A

Apparently the 13$ is a flat rate, doesn’t matter if you are transferring 500$ or 5,000$.

I wouldn’t mind paying this rate if I was getting a service for it, but 3$ for receiving the money? Really??

The Lebanese banking system is too expensive! They have all sorts of hidden fees, a dollar here, a dollar there, and you can’t really argue with them. If you want to deposit dollars in your account you have to wait 7 days until it gets credited. If you want to deposit checks, you have to wait 4 days.

Banks take all this money and they don’t offer services that make the customer’s lifes easier.

“We have online banking”

Online banking my ass…

You can’t do anything online, you can only see your bank account. You can’t transfer money other than your credit card account (because you give money back to the bank). When you call them, they always ask you to go to a branch to sort things out.

“We need your signature”. That’s the excuse I always hear. Isn’t it enough that I am accessing my bank account online with my customer number and secret code? Nooooo, you have to go down to the branch for a retinal scan to make sure it’s you! Make sure you bring a copy of your birth certificate and a dozen passport photos!

All Lebanese banks have beautiful websites promoting piece of mind, customer service, personalized service, immediate access to your money, easy loans… It’s all crap! The only way you’ll get all of this is if you know someone who is well placed at the bank.

Talking about getting a loan, do you know how much paperwork is involved in getting a loan??? OMG! I must’ve signed my name about a hundred times, in the end my signature looked like a doodle.

Instead of spending millions of dollars on hardware and software to block VoIP, maybe the government should spend some money on modernizing the banking system!