Westpac Bank

8:34 pm Everyday Life, Frustrations
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Rebecca and I had an interesting experience today.  We went to Westpac to open a bank account in Australia.  We were asked for identification, and we produced our passports.  However, Rebecca, being an Australian, had to provide additional forms of identification, whereas they accepted my German passport as sufficient identification.  GREAT!!  So an Australian bank doesn’t accept an Australian passport as sole document of identification, but a German passport is acceptable.

Once we finished signing the documents to open the account, I asked for photocopies of the contracts that we signed.  I was asked “Why would you want them?”  Interesting question – I signed a legal contract, and one party is questioning why I want to get a copy for my records.  However, the lady obliged, but came back with photocopies that were crossed out.  She said that this was a requirement from their legal department.  I told her that this was crazy, as I am surely entitled to have a valid copy of any contract I signed.  I asked her if she would enter into a contract without getting a valid copy.  She avoided the question twice and then went away to get us new photocopies.

I feel like I am in reverse culture shock.  After five years of working in and travelling across Asia (much of it in undeveloped or barely developed countries), I expected life in Australia to be different.

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