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Save your money under your pillow

August 28, 2010 @ One Comment
Save your money under your pillow

Starting from SGBL, to Credit Libanais, to HSBC and to top it all the famous Bank Audi!
They would fool you no matter what!

Société Générale would do anything to take your money. When I last checked my statement with SGBL, few years ago before my first currency depression, I noticed that my bank account is empty and the bank needs 24 dollars from me! After questioning all the employees about my 200 dollars, it seemed that the account that I opened and agreed on a cost of 9 dollars per month, was actually costing me a lot more than that, but that was mentioned somewhere among the 10 pages contract that I have signed. While threatening to sue the bank, the manager took me to his office, offering me a plastic cup of coffee and explained to me that it was my mistake that I didn’t read the contract carefully. Ok, fine. What about my e-internet card? It has expired and it cannot be renewed and my 190 USD could not be transferred to a new card!!! Where did my money go? Who took it? I got another cup of coffee and a pity look saying: “we got the best lawyers! rou7e balte el ba7er!”.

I went then to the Credit Libanais which is just across the SGBL. I waited for one hour and a half or maybe more. The customer service girl informed me that there is no online banking. Great!

Let’s check HSBC. A bunch of handsome muscled bouncers acting as valets parking. I felt like a queen while I was still in the car. Now at the customer service desk, I explained to the plastic Barbie girl that I would like to open a bank account and politely asked her to guide me. Her first question was: “what is your monthly salary?” and I was like:”excuse me?” She went on: “How much would you like to deposit now?” I said that I have 1000 dollars right now. Her exact answer was: “Sorry, we open accounts for deposits that are over 25000 dollars. That’s twenty five thousand dollars. Playing smart, I said:”How come I have an account in Bahrain with less than 2000 dinars?”  Ah ha!  “Sorry, but this is the rule in HSBC Lebanon”.

Somebody please close this stupid bank. The most respected worldwide bank is choosing its clients ONLY IN LEBANON.

Here comes Bank Audi. The best for last. A lot of questions, a trial to sell me an insurance policy and a lifetime insurance that I didn’t understand nothing about besides having to pay 50 USD every month for if I die somebody will benefit from the accumulated amount. BANK AUDI SARADAR has an online banking service HURRAY! But you are not allowed to make an online transfer. OK no problem. You can check your balance online but with a one or two days delay. For instance, if I use my ATM card and withdraw any amount, my online statement will not show it. Is it a real online statement? Or should I wait for the employee on Monday morning to enter the changes by hand??
OK let’s open this stupid account. The first transfer I received from an abroad bank with paid charges, I had to pay charges as well. That means double charges. Same went for the second transfer and the third and etc…

If I wasn’t a freelancer and desperately needed a bank account, I would rather keep my money under my pillow!
From my desktop to all Lebanese banks: Please close all the unimproved banks or I will sue you one after the other.

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One Comment → “Save your money under your pillow”


  1. sara2ouna

    7 years ago

    In Lebanon, banks are generally successful because most of them hand-pick their customers. Those deposit requirements are there for one or two reasons…

    It may be unfair for those unfortunate ones who don’t have enough money to open up a bank account. But come to think of it, they can always save their money “under their pillow” until it is worth depositing in a Lebanese bank account.

    The hour and a half you waited in line at the bank would turn into 3 hours if the banks allowed anyone carrying some change (like 5 bucks) in their pocket to open a bank account, get an ATM card and even have a checkbook. Online Banking in Lebanon is worthless especially when compared to online services offered in most countries. Those stupid and odd requirements that the banks have won’t cease to exist until real and fully functional Online Banking solutions are made available.

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