Small bank run

Last week I physically visited a bank for doing some paperwork, and what I saw was really unusual: There were dozens of people queued up, depositing money from their bank accounts. Doesn't sound strange, right. But the amount of money they took was what caught my attention: It looks like they were taking everything they had off their bank accounts. The money counting machine was running constantly, and there were only very big notes in there. Every second person was taken aside and escorted to another room, for their own safety (so I heard the guy at the account say), because the amount they wanted was too big.
Note that I live in Austria, not in Cyprus. What the EU politicians did with Cyprus appears to have made some people really nervous, also here. And I think rightfully so.

eight comments, already:

Same here (france) :-)
Thibault - 27 03 13 - 09:32

Well it’s a terrible precedent to set. That in the euro area you do not own the money you’ve stored in a bank. That legally the bank can either just keep your money if it decides it needs it, or refuse to hand it back to you on demand when you want it. It’s clear that officially if you put your money in a bank in the euro area that it’s no longer your money.

I live in the UK which will certainly be affected less by this than euro zone european countries, but still to some degree lives under the same laws. Even so, I’m trying to work out the best way to store at least some of my wealth in physical assets rather than trust that a bank will decided I am allowed access to my own money.
JB () - 27 03 13 - 09:37

Don’t want to break the depressing mood, but after all withdrawing large amounts of cash is one of the few reasons for physically visiting a bank, isn’t it?
xaos - 27 03 13 - 11:16

And what about Germany? Does Germans also withdraw their money from banks? Does Cyprus decicion affected Merkel’s rating?
Indeets - 27 03 13 - 11:22

xaos: Probably, but not in the dimension as described above?
Thibault - 27 03 13 - 11:25

Thibault: Can’t say, as I wasn’t there. But I do not find it odd to withdraw several thousands of Euros because I have to pay something in cash. Not actually the most comfortable feeling running around with that much money in pocket, but usually it’s only for a couple of days anyways. Since the ATM doesn’t permit fetching that much money this is the major reason to go to a bank, until they let you print money at home so you can do it online…
xaos - 27 03 13 - 12:13

Well, it was on that day where the newspapers were full of this, and I haven’t seen that many people standing there before, so… But who knows. :)
niko - 27 03 13 - 12:59

Withdrawing the money is a nice turn for some bankster blood-letting. But I’m afraid it’s just a flash in the pan. People will calm down, forget and refill their accounts. Only a few will invest in physical goods like real estate or some metals. The rest will go on the same way as they always did. Mass media trained the sheeple well to think that there’s no alternative.
hermitC () (link) - 28 03 13 - 12:17

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