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The Joy of Banking in Ajijic, Lake Chapala

We have been here over 21 years from Toronto, Canada and just when I think that banking here finally makes sense  I am wrong yet again.

I had occasion to go to the back today to get a bank check.  Simple enough one might think.  Not so.  I dutifully filled out the necessary form and things seemed to be proceeding fine.  I was asked for identification, which I did have with me.  I was then asked for my debit card for the account I wanted to take the money out of to pay for the bank check.

I did not have the necessary debit card but I said I do have cash or other credit cards.  Both offerings were out of the question and the only form of payment accepted was a debit card attached to an account with the bank.  The carefully explained it was because of their new machine which processed the debit card.

I tried to reason with them in vain as I had to park a long way away from the bank but my protestations fell on deaf ears.

I then realized that I had my debit card with me for our personal account.  I was giddy with relief.  Even though I plenty of money in that account I found out that the minimum balance had, sometime in the last year, changed to a much higher sum.  I had no idea of this change not had I received any notification of it.

I would not have the required minimum balance if  proceeded with this bank check so I tentatively made the suggestion that I make a deposit to the account to satisfy the required minimum balance as I did have cash with me and lo and behold I was allowed to do that.  Can you imagine actually being allowed to make a deposit into my account with cash.

Forty five minutes later I left the bank with my bank check in hand and a minimum balance requirement fully met.

I wanted to call the bank when I got home (I could not spend any more time at the bank as I was seriously behind schedule) to enquire as to why I was not notified of this minimum balance change but, of course, their phone is not working.

As we seldom use this account I had not noticed the rather heafty monthly penalty for not maintaining the minimum balance. I do however, take great pride in the face I had dutifully maintained the former minimum balance requirement.

I guess the moral of this story is that if you are dealing with a Mexican bank here in Ajijic, Lake Chapala check to see if you are maintaining your minimum balance and whether or not is has changed.

To all our American friends and family – Happy Thanksgiving.

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