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July 14, 2006

banks charge you to borrow your money

Last month we ordered a ton of resin from the United States. The shipping went smoothly and it arrived a little over a week ago. I hired a freight forwarding company to deal with the customs entry and deliver the goods. Since we’ve never used that particular forwarding company before they did not extend any credit to us and insisted on receiving the payment in their bank account before delivery. That is fair enough of course since they paid all of the customs fees on our behalf. So we wired money to their account last week from an account in Korea. Too bad the wire transfer did not arrive yet so the shipping company is holding our goods.

I don’t know very much about banking but I do not understand how it can take more than a week for a bank to send an electronic transfer to another bank. I suspect banks would claim the delays are due to money laundering safegaurds, but considering they make interest on your borrowed money they certainly have no incentive to expedite the process. And then they charge you a fee for the service!

I could also complain about trying to exchange currencies, but I’ll save that for later, since I don’t want to irritate myself by thinking of it any longer.