Not sure whose idea it is to establish banks, or who would have given them the upper hand in ruling our lives. Every stone I turn has one problem or the other with banks, I certainly have used banks since I was 16 (39 years) and have nothing good to say about them. I had written in so many places about the deficiencies of our banks, and their greed. But it seems it is not enough to just do that, something crucial need to be done.

Let me start of what is annoying me today. I had purchased few Mashreq Millionaire certificates about 10 years ago for my children, husband and myself, signed for all of them, and paid for them myself, at that point no one said to me that they have to sign for them or anything about Sharia law??!!. A year later my house was broken into, all the jewellery, certificates, shares, watches, expensive pens, Persian carpets, my handbag that had all of my belongings of credit cards, licenses and house and office keys and last but not least my heart too. It took me six months later to organise myself, hadn’t forgotten about that incident to date of course, as I didn’t only have my own jewellery, I had some that was given to me by my mum for my daughters. My family gave me a piece of jewellery each to compensate me, but of course nothing would as I had the collection of when I started to work, and some items had sentimental value like my wedding set that was given to me by my father.
Anyway, I went to the same bank and told them that the certificates were stolen, so they charged me 25 dirhams each, and issued new ones; Nothing too extravagant so far. Last week I wanted to cash them as didn’t feel that having that sort of money in the bank doing nothing, earning nothing and of course none of us were made millionaires by having them. I am not sure either if anyone else is even being made a millionaire? Don’t know if this scam is being audited to find out if it’s true or just one of those things?
The crunch of the story, they refused to cash the certificates, saying the family have to sign a paper each. So I got everyone to sign, took it back to them, then they said, after having me in there for over an hour, that I need their ID’s, so got the ID’s and went back, then they said that it is not possible, as Sharia law doesn’t allow the mother to cash the children’s certificates, they all have to come themselves to take their money? I said ‘excuse me? Where was the law when I bought these damn things? And why wasn’t I told right from the start that I have to spend on tickets to bring the kids here to sign to receive their 1000 dirhams each? The ticket is over 7000 dirhams? So rather than making me a millionaire, they want me to be deeper than deep. I dont know whether I wanted to cry or laugh, as the whole thing was funny. You take someone’s money, use it and abuse it, charge the person for putting his/her money in the bank, and then decide that you are a Sharia law compliant? Also this bank is not even an Islamic bank, of course dont get me started about the Islamic banks, and how they earn their money? I can write a thesis on that front. Of course, I told them off, and said where was Sharia law is when I bought these certificates? And why isn’t this written at the back of the certificates? Or why didn’t they tell me when I bought them that the owner had to cash them?

The manager looked at me in a funny way, and went inside, then after like 15 minutes came back and asked me to go to the cashier to receive the cash. That of course took another 15 minutes, and you are not talking about huge amounts of money here, it’s a 1000 dirhams certificate? I had the feeling that the hands of the cashier was trembling, as if I was going to extract hair from his nose.

Got my money, and tomorrow I am off to another bank to get those mutuals too. I will tell you all about it later.

I must mention a strange thing that happened yesterday, I had a visitor with me from overseas, the door of the office was open, a person enters and hands me a card of a bank! And says that they will give me advantageous benefits? I said sure, leave your card and I will send you an email to talk. When the person left, my visitor was utterly surprised that a British bank goes to the offices these days? Something is surely not right? I will stop here.