Had an odd experience yesterday and thought to ask what others might think.
So I went to the bank to withdraw $5,000. I figured out max I can do on ATM is $1-2k across the 2 banks I am with.
So I went into my nearest open branch in a rush during my lunch break. Did the usual social distancing and waiting in line etc until I got to the teller (current Vic conditions branches are either closed or short hours and no weekends). Then they insist on getting an answer as to why I want my money out.
The exchange went a bit like this:
Me: Hi, I'd like to withdraw $5,000
Teller: What do you need the cash for?
Me: (stunned by the question, so I ignored it) I want to withdraw cash
Teller: Yeah what do you need it for
Teller: Some people are being scammed and there are different ways scammers are trying to get money.
Me: Okay I'm not being scammed. I just want cash.
Teller: Okay but what do you need it for?
Me: I am paying for something, I am not being scammed.
Teller: Okay I'm just trying to protect you and your money. (Like that makes it okay??)
proceeds to withdraw cash from my account
Now I've not been in a branch in maybe 4-5 years. I do all my banking online these days and have met with a bank broker over the years (which I'd say doesnt count). Is this normal to be interrogated why I want to withdraw MY money and to be asked what I'm doing with it?
Is there not some privacy law against this?
In my view teller could have led with I have to ask you if you think you might be scammed or something similar at the start. And if I confirm no, what is it their business to press the question further for detail?
The bank is an instrument where I store my money. Should that not be as far as it needs to go? They suspect something they can file it with the ATO or whoever else manages suspicions of fraud etc.
Didn't feel right. This was Commonwealth Bank btw.
EDIT: Thanks all for your comments. So this looks like a common occurrence now, and has legal backing under duty of care. All I wanted to confirm really. Cheers.