brni (brni) wrote,

today's big win

Back in April, Giant-Bank-That-Ate-the-Big-Bank that the company I work for uses converted Big-Bank's accounts to Giant-Bank accounts. Not much changed except the format of the statements, and the colors of the bank signs, and various regional managers randomly appearing at the branch and making everyone panic.

Except for online banking.

We've got multiple companies, see. And under Big-Bank, we had a login for each company, and could check our accounts, etc. The accounts were sorted under the company EIN. Under Giant-Bank, our primary company transferred just fine, everything worked just like before. Secondary company? No such luck. When I went to get the new online banking set up, it wouldn't work. At all. Ended up at the branch, dealing with multiple bankers and various people over the phone, and they got it set up for me.

So, I got it set up, logged in, and it said "Hello, Linda Saboe, welcome to $Giant-Bank."

Which seemed odd. And then I realized that now the secondary business account was inexplicably linked to my home mortgage, accessible only through my spousal unit's login for our mortgage, which is tied to my SSN. I tried to explain that this was a problem, that while I trusted my spousal unit implicitly, there was no reason for my boss to trust her with access to his bank accounts. They explained that this was all necessary for our online security, and that I should tell my wife to stop looking at that account. I told them then to revert everything back to how it was, and unlink this business (for which I have no ownership) from my SSN.

J., my friendly neighborhood banker, made some phone calls after I left, and then told me that we could get this set up properly, under the company EIN, and we'd just need to set aside a couple hours some morning to do it. Today (yesterday, now) I was up and about early enough in the morning to dedicate the time.


We make the call. (after being terrorized by the helpful regional manager who popped in to harass the staff). J. explains the situation to the first person we talk to. He says, "Oh, let me transfer you to business online accounts." We listen to on-hold music. We explain the situation to the new guy. He says, "Can you take me off speaker phone?" He and Josephina talk for a while. She tries to explain to him about security, about not linking my SSN to a company I don't own, and not giving my spousal unit access to someone else's business accounts. He says it can't be done. I say, "Of course it can. It's working just fine on our other account." Josephina says, "He wants to talk to you." And hands me the phone.

So the guy talks at me. Big song and dance about how this is all to protect our information, security, blah blah blah. He says that I should never have allowed my spousal unit to access my online account in the first place. I explain to him that it isn't mine, it's hers. "It's yours," he says, "because it has your social. She shouldn't have set it up that way if she wanted to use it."

Me: "She set it up the way Wel$Giant-Bank told her to."

Him: "Well, she'll have to set up her own account, and you'll have to secure this one so that she can't access it."

Me: "So you're saying that in order for me to set up online banking for an entirely unrelated company, my wife has to set up a new account for our mortgage, and then I have to take the other account away from her. And then you're telling me that I will have to set up stuff that involves my personal finances that she is prevented from accessing, because letting her see it will give her access to all my boss's business accounts. And you're doing this for 'security reasons.'"

Him: "Uh. Yes."

Me: "No. That will cause marital stress. I don't need marital stress right now. I have enough other stress in my life. Figure out something else."

Him: "Uh. But..."

Me: "I'm not making my wife do anything, or telling her that I need to hide some of our finances from her."

Him: "Let me talk to my supervisor."

Ten minutes later, everything is resolved.

So, here's the moral of the story: Actual security of your financial data? Not a good enough reason to make the necessary changes to "the way things are done." Causes marital stress? "Of course, sir, we're happy to accommodate our customers."

*shakes head*

[note: Tying access to business accounts to non-owner authorized-signer employee's SSN's is entirely wrongheaded, for several reasons. First, there's no reason why an employee's SSN should be attached in any way to a company's finances, AT ALL. Second, what if the trusted employee dies? Should the employer also, by virtue of trusting the employee, also trust anyone who gains access to that SSN and login in the course of dealing with the employee's estate? Spouse? Children? Other relatives? Random person chosen as executor of the estate? None of these arguments made a dent in earlier attempts to resolve this problem. "Marital stress," on the other hand, appears to be the keyword to get bankers to do what you want.]
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