NZ: Man Withdraws $190,000 Savings After Bank Denies Loan for $80,000

July 24th, 2009

Update: Nelson Building Society Deposits His Money… with Westpac

You sort of have to live in New Zealand to get how funny/sad this is.

Via: Stuff:

In an ironic twist on Mapua artist Roger Griffiths’ protest withdrawal of his $190,000 savings in $20 notes from Westpac yesterday, the money was today back with Westpac.

Mr Griffiths deposited the cash at the Nelson Building Society in Richmond, but because NBS banks with Westpac, it has deposited the money there.

NBS general manager Ken Beams said today it did not hold huge amounts of cash.

“Westpac clears our cash for us. It is better to sit in an account earning interest, and that’s where it will be now.”

He appreciated the irony. “It’s ridiculous, really.”

Mr Griffiths said today he had no idea that would happen next. “It’s just a little merry-go-round.”

However, he would not move the money again, and did not think his protest had been a waste of time, because of the support he had received.

Westpac declined to comment on the return of the money to its coffers.

—End Update—


Via: Stuff:

Defiant Mapua artist Roger Griffiths today made a stand against Westpac by withdrawing his $190,000 savings in $20 notes.

The bank provided a red-and-black carry bag to take away the cash after meticulously counting it in front of Mr Griffiths at its Nelson branch.

Mr Griffiths, a loyal Westpac customer for 25 years, decided to withdraw his money after the bank rejected his application for an $80,000 mortgage. “It’s about time normal people took a stand.”

He said the bank turned down his application because he did not have a regular income as an artist. However, he was a successful artist, exhibiting his paintings at the World of Wearable Art complex, in Christchurch and New York, he said.

He wanted to buy a $385,000 property in Mapua, had $200,000 in cash and was going to sell his $110,000 campervan.

That more than met the bank’s criteria for a 20 per cent deposit, and the property which included a home and commercial premises would have returned $500 a week, he said.

He was disappointed when his loan application was rejected, but it was Westpac losing $111 million to Lane Walker Rudkin Industries that tipped his decision to withdraw his money.

“They can lose $110 million with LWR but turn down a normal customer who has never missed a loan payment,” he said. “If they don’t have the trust in me after 25 years, there’s a problem for Westpac.”

Having decided to withdraw his money, he then decided to make it hard for the bank by requesting payment in $20 bills.

He said the Nelson branch told him it did not have that amount and he would have to also go to other branches at Stoke, Richmond and Motueka. However, he insisted the bank have the money ready to collect at 9am today. He then took it to the Nelson Building Society, saying he would rather deal with NBS because it was part of the community.

His message to Westpac: “If you don’t support the community, the community won’t support you.”

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