Over the weekend I was ruminating as you do, with a glass of wine in my hand. The object of my rumination was, unlikely as it sounds, SEPA. I know, I know, I need to get a life – but bear with me.
Although I understand the broad concept and aim of SEPA and am a big supporter, I’m no expert unlike Chris Pickles who regularly writes on the topic. But, many years of living and working abroad have made me all too aware of the need to open several bank
accounts depending on what you need to do. You need one to handle your UK payments, you need another to handle your local payments where you are working and you might need others depending on how you structure your savings and mortgages. It can get quite
complex just because local companies prefer to do business using local banks.
The idea that I’ll be able to manage all my standing orders, direct debits and payroll from one account is exciting and I’m looking forward to the day when a transfer happens immediately, not within 3 days or more often 5 working days!
So what needed ruminating, I hear you ask.
Well, if I have any problems in the UK I can call my bank, the FSA or the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and they will help me resolve any issues I have. But, under SEPA these complaints could be coming to the FSA and FOS from customers domiciled overseas,
couldn’t they? And conversely if I have a complaint against a foreign based bank who has messed up my salary payment, I would complain to their versions of FOS and the FSA (if they exist), who is that you might ask?
More important than who, is how and of course we mustn’t forget the issue of which language to use. Are the FSA and FOS geared up to handle complaints from members of the public in Catalan, Flemish or Armenian to name just three dialects?
If you can shed any light on this rumination or if you know the answer to this one, then please let
Now, back to my ruminating; “why shouldn’t SWIFT be a clearing and settlement house?”.
Pass the wine darling!