Sunday, August 30, 2009

Looking for a Job in Valencia? - More Banking Madness

An experience I had with a client the other day means that I know there are jobs out there, you just need to make a convincing argument.

My client is recently arrived and wanted to open a bank account and a future business account once the business is set up. As their Spanish is basic at the moment they wanted to open an account in a branch where there was a customer service rep who spoke English. (At this point remember that we are not talking Serbo-Croat or Martian but English.)

They had been recommended the BBVA in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento by a friend. Main branch of second biggest bank in Spain. Well guess what nobody there speaks English even to a basic level and they laughed at the suggestion and said we should try the branch round the corner opposite the tourist office. That just happens to be my branch too so I had my doubts, obviously I always speak Spanish there but cannot remember anybody with a knowledge of English. We got there and guess what, nobody!

Next option was the CAM as I work closely with their customer service rep for foreigners but he is based in Lliria. Another blank. Then Bancaja, the Santander I will not touch with a bargepole after their treatment of an American client recently even though the subdirector does speak English to a fashion.

Barclays had someone who speaks English but after waiting for 40 minutes for her to come back from her morning coffee and another 40 minutes to deal with one client plus another 20 minutes trying to sell my clients the offset account she decided that they couldn't open an account without being able to prove where they worked. This is one day after arriving in the country and running their own business online and by phone. Therefore they had to provide a tax return for 2008!!! Basically if you want to open an account with Barclays you can if you have a crappy job paying 600 Euros per month but you can't if you have a few million to deposit and don't need to work ever again in your life.

Finally we gave up on the speaking English part, went into the Caixa Catalunya and opened an account with 100 Euros and passports. It turned out that the rep did speak English but he didn't volunteer this info we discovered it after half and hour of me translating. Oh and another thing, they weren't allowed to open a joint account because one is Canadian and the other German so a single account has been opened for now!!!

So what is the job? Get yourself round to the banks with a business plan and teaching plan specifically for teaching English to bank employees and point out that they are losing clients due to the total lack of preparedness for the modern world.

1 comment:

  1. Banks are difficult to convince. I prefer another job option. To be like a personal shopper but with banks.


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