I wanted to share this story since there's been discussion here lately about banks and the limit on use of cash in Greece:
Citi Warns of Withdrawal Gate -- Seeking Alpha
So now if you live in Texas and you don't tell Citibank 7 days in advance they won't let you withdraw your own money?? That is messed up! Is the West heading for a corralito-style freeze like Argentina?Seen on a recent Citibank (C) statement: "Effective April 1, 2010, we reserve the right to require (7) days advance notice before permitting a withdrawal from all checking accounts. While we do not currently exercise this right and have not exercised it in the past, we are required by law to notify you of this change."
Whoa. Is this an April Fool's joke? A contingency plan to defend against theidea*of what "would happen if thousands of [bank] customers pledge to withdraw their money from the bank on a certain day, unless the bonuses are capped?" A strategem cooked up by Citi's new*shareholders from the hedge fund industry, an industry in which such withdrawal gates are*common? An idea backed by Citi's big shareholder, Uncle Sam, or one of its regulators, Sheila Bair?
I called Citi about it and they said the warning applies only to customers in Texas and that the notification had been mistakenly included on statements nationwide. Whatever the explanation, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence in Citi. I've got nothing against Citi as a general matter -- I have friends who work there, and know some account holders who are generally satisfied customers. But it's hard to believe a bank would be sending out a notice like that on its statements.
I can't imagine it's an April Fool's joke. What bank has the time to express its sense of humour? And why only in Texas?
The banks possibly want to test and see how people react so they can decide what to do next and how.