BAC San Jose

I need to vent out loud, long and hard!
I am a native U S Citizen, [from the South Eastern U. S.] I wish to remain anonymous for now.
This vent is in reference to BAC San Jose. In 2008 I worked and was paid as a private contractor for Berlitz, which setup and open an account under my name and my passport number for payroll deposits.

Subsequently after no longer working for Berlitz in early 2009 I discontinued using the account therefore the account became inactive with a small balance remaining! During the second week in October 2010 I went to the BAC San Jose, Playa de Coco location attempting to open a new account and have the old balance transferred into the new account. The staff took and made copies of my Passport and my ‘American Social Security Administration’ Benefit Statement which contained watermarking, the www address and a bar code.
Since the original [now inactive] account was open I have acquired a Costa Rican Drivers License and Residente Pensionado LN. and established a S.A. Corporation!
Playa de Coco BAC San Jose Manager, [Pablo Navarro Chaves] was very nice, professional and empathetic to my efforts. He told me that the person in the San Jose office that needed to ‘Certify’ my paperwork was not available. He told me that he would call me within two days. I smiled to my self because my experiences in Costa Rica has been that no one , absolutely no business person calls you back the next day or when promised. Sure enough as I expected he did not call me. I returned to the Coco bank location and was given very little help but was put on the telephone with a BAC San Jose Liberia personal, Maikol Salazar Ch. Maikol suggested that I come into the Liberia location for assistance. On Wednesday 27 October 2010 I visited the Liberia location of BAC San Jose and met with Maikol. He was very nice, professional and empathic to my problem. He told me as did Palbo that my paper work [proof of income] needed / had to be ‘certified’ by a CPA. In Spanish ‘Para Certificar’!
In amazement I set off to find a CPA to have my paperwork certified with a letter. After a long and drawn out search I found Alfredo Tioerinov CPA. He looked at my paperwork and ask me why I needed it certified? I explained, to open a bank account! He stated ‘sure, no problem’. I ask him how much, he stated 40,000 Colonies or $80.00 American Dollars. I thought about it for a moment and said ‘Thank You but No Thanks’ and walked out.
At times like this I repeatedly remind myself that I chose to come to Costa Rica / yes I choose to be / to remain here in Costa Rica. I am free to leave Cost Rica at any time. So why, why, why do I suffer this muddiness!
The three questions that linger are; is this a valid and necessary procedure? Why must I pay to prove that this or any part of my income is valid upon presenting the required Costa Rica Government documentation? Lastly who and how are the fees for this Certificar decided?
Remember it was accepted with other income related documents to acquire my Residente Pensionado status.
I am not comfortable that I am the only one that this madness is happening to. Please pass this on to some one in Costa Rica that can make sense of this madness. At the time of this vent I have not, but before the end of November 2010 I will request my funds remaining in the inactive account. I am expecting additional drama and a polite run around as most often happens.

Rvah13@Aol.Com

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Your not alone - I feel your

Your not alone - I feel your pain. I too have an account with BAC San Jose, opened in 2001. We have had to jump through hoops just to keep the account open. Not living in CR full time just makes it more difficult. We average 2000- 2500 monthly balance in our account just to pay the automatic credit card payments to ICE, CableTica etc. for our home. A far cry from money laundering or drug trafficking. Is it to transfer the blame to the CPA or is it away to spread the wealth. I bet he would have taken $25 for his services if you would have offered.

bureaucrats

Yes, bureaucrats are a pita wherever they may be found.  While I don't have experience with opening an account at BAC in specific, other experiences with other banks left me with the same sense.  The banks all want to cover their *ss against any possible legal repercussion if they are accused of laundering drug money.  It's kind of like insurance - the $80 was what the accountant considered a reasonable premium against the risk of you being a drug launderer and later having to be liable.  If you'd showed up in a caravan of jeeps with military-drug-lord garb and gold chains, no doubt it would have been far higher, or if you had walked in as a local person, then less, because the accountant isn't paid for hourly work but rather for the premium against your potential illegitimacy. 

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