Commonwealth Bank

A few months ago I started to get emails and notifications from the CBA re. confirming my ID which was a process designed to, as they said, “make my life simpler”. I dealt with the first ones via the CBA App and got to the spot where I was to confirm my DOB by using the calendar (there was no just “type it in” option offered). I quickly figured that to get to my DOB using the App it was going to take circa 890 keystrokes so I just stopped. "Making my life simpler? Not so.
The emails and notifications kept coming and so I went to my nearest Branch which is now 3X further away than it used to be 12mths ago due to my local branch closure. Coincidentally when at the bank I noted that the App had been changed (to make my life easier) so that it was then possible to direct type in my DOB which I did. This then allowed me to proceed further with the ID checking where I found the questions starting to get “odd”. The CBA ID check questions were then about “what work do you do?” and “where does your money come from?” Again I stopped, not answering these questions thinking this is not about ID checking and it is not any business of the bank.
It was at this stage I started to read more of the finer print which said under the heading of “What happens if you don’t confirm your details?”

If you don’t confirm your personal details within the next 30days, we may restrict access to your banking until you do.

All this to make my life simpler.

What next? I check my account and it has zero balance?
I am arranging to meet with the banks CSO next week to try and get to the bottom of these very disturbing threats and harassing emails seeking information they probably already have.

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So just answer the questions as they want as they seem to be building a profile of you for their systems, and avoid problems if you have not verified the key identity details needed for anti money-laundering legislation.
What work do you do? Answer, consultant.
Where do you get your money? Answer, from consulting.

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Occupational questions usually accompany accounts with investment options. It is dinkum to help assess the customers possible risk factors. Whether it is used that way is another topic. If the answer to where one’s money comes from and it is mainly a pension, with high risk or high value transactions suggests money laundering, scamming in progress, or inappropriate investments, if that helps understand why they ask.


I’m reminded of standing in front of the El Al airline counter in Bangkok and being asked: ‘Where did you get the money to travel to Israel?’ Maybe I looked surprised at that question because the slightly embarrassed young man then added: ‘Sorry, I have to ask this questions’.
In fact, I was grateful and felt safer because of all the security measures that were being implemented.
I would have positive feelings about safety measures taken by my bank to ensure a tight ID on all bank accounts, this is one time when privacy can be exchanged for security IMO.

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Very true. Responsible lending legislation requires financial entities to properly assess the ability of a borrower to repay lent money.
They thus need to know information about their customers beyond just identity details.
Such as employment status.

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Wandering ‘to the side’ here but

Not so much security (unless this is what you meant->) because if the answer was ‘a friend bought my tickets’ (or similar) it would be a clue that you might have been a drug mule or trafficked so there would be further questioning.

Most customs/immigration will ask about who bought the tickets and/or how one will support themselves (eg bank account balances, etc) every time, randomly or if the pax seems sus.


OT: I was also asked if I had explosives in my luggage. Could seem a pointless question but maybe they are trained to body language reactions?

It’s just that the extra security and the clearly visible flight marshals on board the plane made me feel more secure in that part of the world.

BTW nowhere else in my travels was I asked those types of questions, not even at the Lax airport where all my 10 fingers were fingerprinted, and where I was asked to ‘step this way, ma’am. You have something strapped to your waist’
In the days of terrorism I had forgotten to remove my money belt!

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