“Here is the news.
“One hundred billions dollars has been wiped off the New York stock exchange in trading today. Well, it was probably wiped off because it will of course take five working days for all the transactions involved to go through.”
Doesn’t happen though, does it?
And yet if I lodge a cheque (remember them) it takes “five working days” to clear.
Indeed, even an online inter-bank transfer can take “three working days” to clear.
Do you actually believe that?
Do you really think that cheques which now have barcodes and the like on them, take five days to clear?
I don’t think they ever did.
Indeed, I remember on one occasion many years ago, lodging a cheque on the Thursday before a bank holiday weekend.
Apparently – and this still applies – the day you lodge the cheque doesn’t count as one of the “five working days.”
So my first day was Friday.
Saturday and Sunday weren’t working days. Monday was a bank Holiday.
So it was the following Friday when the cheque cleared.
I called the bank.
And a very nice man explained to me – remember, this was back in the 80s – that “a van went around the banks collecting cheques to bring to the clearing house and…”
“And do they have a special van for each cheque?” I asked.
“You’re not taking me seriously are you?” he asked.
And I told him I wasn’t.
And I still don’t take it seriously when a bank tells me it takes five or indeed, three, working days to clear a cheque or any other lodgement.
It’s like they walk out at 4pm on Friday and turn off all their computers until Monday at 10 am.
I suppose, at least they’ve improved from the time they only opened after everyone else was at work, shut at lunchtime when everyone had a break and closed at 3pm just in case anyone got off work early and might make it into a branch.
Can you imagine what the stock exchange would be like if it took three working days to clear every transaction?
I have a notion that one day people will finally tire of banks.
And they’ll go back to using money.
Or better still, bartering.
“How much is that HD television?”
“Four sheep and a donkey.”
“Great stuff. And the stand?”
“That’s a bag of potatoes.”Bank
Well, at least you could do it on the spot.