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LETTER: Banking regulations make little sense

To the Editor:

Recently a scare was sent through everyone's life who owns a bank account.

In Cyprus last week the government was going to vote on a one time regulation that would let the government illegally take 10 percent of everyone's cash to pay down the bank's debt, or the government's debt which is connected to the banks.

This was voted down by those who had a little common sense. Just because you work for the government doesn't mean you have the right to illegally take something that doesn't belong to you. This has everything to do with property rights.

Here in the States this would be a ludicrous effort by the government because if they just took it then the FDIC would have to refund the money because the FDIC covers the loss of money due to theft.

If they claim it's tax recovery then they would have to prove you owe the tax and that would have to be part of previous legislation that would give them the right to do it. It is already in existence but by some other means.

But a new tax would have to be voted on. But here's the rub: That tax would have to be claimed on your return which you would get back as a refund later on.

In other words, one government agency would take the money and another would have to give it back.

Have you gotten your refund back? I got mine and because it had my wife's name on it the bank I wanted to deposit it in wouldn't accept it because I was going to put it in my personal account. Now my wife has endorsed the check so she knows how much it's for, it's not a secret to anyone.

What I had to do because of banking regulations is take the check to our family bank, deposit it in our family account, transfer it to my business account, come back to New Richmond and write a business check to my personal account for the same amount. This is called customer convenience and for my protection.

But here's the problem. I made three transactions for the same amount to three separate accounts all in the same day. According to the FBI, this would be considered money laundering. Really -- I looked it up. The FBI calls this layering and banks have to report it to a separate agency as questionable transfers.

Now think about this for a moment. Because the New Richmond bank wouldn't take the check even with its endorsement, I committed a federal crime.

The simple exchange of a check into an account gives the feds the impression the customer might be a potential criminal. Which means my name could go on a watch list and I would never know it.

To be fair, this procedure is customary to all banks. So if the banks don't concern themselves with the legalities of its customers, then what laws are they breaking?

Robert Pike

New Richmond