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Adventures in banking

I'm in the process of becoming the main tenant of the studio I've been working in for the past five years, taking over from studio-mate Edmond. On Monday, we both went to the corp that owns the building, Edmond signed a document canceling his contract, and I signed the new one. That bit was easy.
What's not so easy is paying the deposit. Back then, Edmond just gave the corp's representative the deposit in cash and got a receipt. Since then, there have been some changes in how these things are done. The corp came with the seemingly reasonable request that instead of paying the deposit directly and polluting their books with money that isn't theirs, I give them a bank guarantee for the amount. So today, after asking about how this worked at the Postbank's desk, I went to ING bank (the same company as the Postbank, but their serious banking branch) to ask about it. I got a very nice welcome - I was asked to wait for one of their staff, who then lead me into a meeting room, gave me coffee, held an introductory talk and then eased into the business part, getting my info and explaining the arcane workings of bank guarantees to me. Including the cost.
If the song and dance weren't indication enough to me that this wasn't the sort of transaction normally handled at the front desk, the cost was. Bank guarantees come with a 60 Euro administrative fee and a quarterly provision of 1% - perfectly reasonable if you're renting an € 10,000/month office space, but not for a one-off deposit of € 287, which is what our tiny studio's rent is.
The bank guy actually told me he'd never been asked for a bank guarantee for such a low amount. I'm feeling all special now.

I'll be asking the company that recently set up in the room next to us how they worked that out. But I expect I'll be simply sending the deposit to the corp's bank account, or maybe drop sixty bales of potatoes on their doorstep. I don't know. If you want something kept off the books, potatoes are the way to go, I guess.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 20, 2006 11:41 AM.

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