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Thread: Discrimination at the bank

  1. #1
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    Discrimination at the bank

    Is there a law against discrimination? I've had/have an account at Россельхозбанк for about 10 or 12 years, with no problems until recently. Recently I exchanged $10,000 from my dollar account for cash in rubles, to buy a car. The bank manager called my wife and said I might not be able to do that anymore. My wife went to the bank to clarify the situation, and was told it could be a problem because I'm an "American", could be laundering money, and the "political situation" between Russia and America and all. The manager said I can take out dollars, but my (Russian) wife should be with me, to use her passport to exchange dollars to rubles.

    Subsequently my wife and I went to the bank and took $11,000 (again for the car we bought) and converted to cash in rubles. Since then I went alone to take out $1,000 and get rubles in cash, thinking the "problem" was only with amounts of $10,000 or more. They would give me dollars, but not rubles. The bank manager called my wife again and complained she thought my wife understood the situation, and asked why I took out and exchanged $11,000 without using my wife's passport. My wife explained the cashier didn't ask for her passport. The bank manager told my wife she should have told the cashier; my wife told the manager she should have told the cashier. My wife explained I live here and pay taxes here; what if I was an American tourist, would the bank refuse to exchange my dollars?

    I think there is a jealousy thing going on with this manager, trying to make things more difficult for my wife. A complicating factor is we have a business that uses this bank, and if we somehow make the manager do "what's right", she could make things more difficult in other ways. The only other bank in town is Сбербанк, which we could move to, but would like to avoid the hassle.

    In America I could sue the bank (and be rich if I was a "person of color"). I know, I know, this isn't America.
    If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough...

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  3. #2
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    This can be because of some real anti-laundering agreements between RF and US which came into action (or tightened) last years. For example, some local ppl being served in VTB were asked if they have second, US citizenship, while operating with relatively big sums.

    And yes, we've got anti-discrimination article in RF Criminal Codex
    http://www.consultant.ru/document/co...f884f72173c28/
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  5. #3
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    I think Sber bank would be better because they have more branches and cash machines around Russia, also a nice phone app to pay for things from. I would go to or write the main office and complain. Tell them you will not use their bank anymore if they don't talk with that manager.
    If you trust the government you obviously failed history class. " George Carlin"

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  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Wally View Post
    I think Sber bank would be better because they have more branches and cash machines around Russia, also a nice phone app to pay for things from. I would go to or write the main office and complain. Tell them you will not use their bank anymore if they don't talk with that manager.
    One consideration about Sberbank is that if the government decides you owe them money for any reason, SB will cheerfully hand it over, no questions asked. I paid our property taxes in November, and in January my wife had the same amount of about seven grand (rubles) “arrested” for “non-payment” of the same taxes that I had the receipt for. Now we have to make special trips to the tax people to fight to get our money back.

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    one reason i go withh Raiffeisen.
    There is no greater treasure then pleasure....

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  11. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusmeister View Post
    Now we have to make special trips to the tax people to fight to get our money back.
    I'm afraid it will be an exasperating fight, and you won't get your money back. I think they will credit you for the overpayment, and tell you the credit will be applied to future taxes. I've made many trips to Tver and Kimera to resolve a simular case. We won a court case (having paid too much) back in December, but they are still billing us and threatening fines/interest for non-payment of a current bill.

    Good luck, I hope you don't have to sue them (can't sue town hall), and they don't exasperate you as much as they might. I empathize with your situation.

    P.S. They took money from my wife's Россельхозбанк pension account, its not just Сбербанк, I wouldn't blame the bank.
    Last edited by bydand; 13-03-2020 at 09:36.
    If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough...

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  13. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    one reason i go withh Raiffeisen.
    No Raiffeisen in Kashin, unfortunately, but we have milk warm from the cow (I noticed your other thread).
    Last edited by bydand; 13-03-2020 at 09:14.
    If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough...

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  15. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatAndy View Post
    And yes, we've got anti-discrimination article in RF Criminal Codex
    http://www.consultant.ru/document/co...f884f72173c28/
    Thank you Andy. Printed your link and will be taking it in hand to the bank today.
    If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough...

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    Quote Originally Posted by bydand View Post
    Thank you Andy. Printed your link and will be taking it in hand to the bank today.
    I'd recommend your wife to consult a lawyer, specialised on civil law, how to press and apply your claim correctly.
    For example http://www.apk-detektor.ru/advokat/kashin/
    Or https://kashin.jsprav.ru/yuristyi/

    Keep calm. Argue very politely but persistently. Good luck.
    All the world's Kremlin,
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    I would not be so angry at them. Banks are bandits in Russia. They can block your account in a second just if they suspect you in money laundering. After that they force you to move your money to the different bank with "little" 20% fee and they would make sure to let know your new bank what was going on. So then your new bank will do the same right way. That can go until you loose everything. In your case your bank talks to you. Very strange. I would suggest to follow their directions. You are not in America.

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  20. #11
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    Well, we went to the bank with the discrimination law in hand, but didn't show it because the bank manager was so flustered when Mrs. Bydand told her we called the bank hotline to inquire (we didn't). We proceeded to exchange dollars for rubles (as if we couldn't launder money together). After the exchange (why could I not alone, maybe as a tourist, I will never know) the bank manager gave us, through a subordinate, a форма самосертификации для клиентов (customer self-certification form) to fill out and submit. We did so today, but I'm almost certain I did 12 years ago when opening my acccounts there.

    The bank manager said with a smile "we will do business with you", as if they didn't before.
    If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough...

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  22. #12
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    So, Dan, a kind of false alarm, or they moved back... a bit?
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  24. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bydand View Post
    Well, we went to the bank with the discrimination law in hand, but didn't show it because the bank manager was so flustered when Mrs. Bydand told her we called the bank hotline to inquire (we didn't). We proceeded to exchange dollars for rubles (as if we couldn't launder money together). After the exchange (why could I not alone, maybe as a tourist, I will never know) the bank manager gave us, through a subordinate, a форма самосертификации для клиентов (customer self-certification form) to fill out and submit. We did so today, but I'm almost certain I did 12 years ago when opening my acccounts there.

    The bank manager said with a smile "we will do business with you", as if they didn't before.
    Sounds like you were right and she was just messing with you.
    If you trust the government you obviously failed history class. " George Carlin"

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  26. #14
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    Bydand,
    Did this happen in Kashin? If so, it could be some sort of jealosy coupled with lack of professionalism which stems from the fact that it's a small town.
    I had a similar incident at a bank recently where I argued with two girls over an issue (I'll spare you the details but their "контролер" refused to authorize a transaction due to the fact that she didn't like my passport translation). Finally we came to an agreement and they thought I left... well, I didn't, I was around the corner waiting for the 'kassa' 'cause I decided to change some currency into RUB since the rates jumped that day. Anyway, I listened to them talk about me for a good 10 minutes at least. Can't post what they were saying verbatim 'cause it would quickly get moved to bardak

    On a serious note, are you sure it wasn't some valid legal regulation that she just didn't present correctly? Did you sign the U.S. taxpayer forms? Perhaps she was suggesting (in her own Kashin-like way) that your wife do the transaction so you don't have to sign all that paperwork?

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    Visited an attorney when I was seeking to adopt. I asked my office manager, and she was not knowledgeable about all the ins and outs, regarding adoption, and by a foreigner to boot. We went to lawyer's office, who researched a couple of things, and explained all the details and answered all our questions. The best part was the consult fee, maybe 1/10 the cost in the US.

    However, at the orphanage, the director objected when I told her that the baby would stay in Russia with me, and be raised there. She said it would be harmed because I mostly spoke English and my wife would be Russian. She said the child would be disadvantaged - "learning Russian from an adult with bad grammar and an accent". I thought that it would be an advantage, the kid would grow up being fluent in both languages. Kids are much more bright than that - they know what's proper speech and what's not. I saw the Director's Lexus in the parking lot, but didn't know how to ask if "there was anything I could do".
    If you can't be smart, be the least stupid one in the room!

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