BANPRO -- Again

Every time I go to BANPRO (since the competent manager was transfered to Managua) I remember why I hate to go there. Today was no exception.

I have an account there that was for a now long-defunct S.A. I would get monthly statements and then they stopped. Why? BANPRO inactivated the account for lack of activity. Not particularly abnormal. Well, today, as ex-President of the ex-company, I went to BANPRO to close the account. I even filled out the "log book", their new way of doing what should be "take a number".

In a few minutes, I was escorted to the desk of one of the helpful BANPRO employees. I handed her an old statement for the account, explained that the company no longer existed and that I wanted to close the account. She explained there was no problem—I just needed a letter from that company that didn't exist requesting that the account be closed.

Clearly she was sharp enough to see that her answer was not what I wanted to hear. So, she added the next bit of information, "we will issue a check in the name of the company" (that doesn't exist). I stupidly asked her what I was supposed to do with that check. I think she recognized there was no realistic answer and said nothing.

I thanked her for reminding me how BANPRO is always so helpful and left.

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Everything probably would

Everything probably would have been fine if the account had not been deactivated. I would politely tell them that they made a mistake by closing the account without notice, then ask them how to reactivate it. Assuming they can reactivate thew account, you could pretend the company still existed, then quietly close the account (or at least take all the money out and let them do what they want with the account).

You also have to consider two other things: 1) You are dealing with a company so large in Nicaraguan terms that they are next in line only behind Union Fenosa (et al) and Enitel/Claro when it comes to being clueless. 2) Here I will accept the risk of being jumped on for generalizing and stereotyping Nicaraguans, but this one is seen at every turn. Nicaragua is steeped in requirements /rules and regulations that are absolutely meaningless. They are so entrenched in some things that they have no idea why they need to do it. "Because that's the way it's done" is the most common answer. A lot of the original requirements did have a basis when they were first developed, but they get so used to applying extensions of logic, that there is no longer any logic, and the meaning of the original requirement is completely lost.

Corollary: At Christmas time, one of my mother-in-law's nephews from Masatepe sent her 500 cordobas via (you guessed it) Banpro. Well, the nephew deposited the money using her married name, but her cedula does not include her married name. Their solution - change her cedula. Now, you tell me what kind of idiots we are dealing with.

Burocracia . El poder del Escritorio .

Hey Charliedawson , the ineptitude of the people working those jobs is nothing new . But I know from experience that in Nicaragua sometimes you trap more flies with honey than with vinegar . Nicaragua is a place where a little smile can work miracles . As for " accepting the risk of being jumped on for generalizing and stereotyping Nicaraguans " you didn't point out anything that any Nicaraguan hasn't experienced before . Still I can't help it but think of the efficiency of the DMV employees , the postal service employees , dealing with any agency of the government , make sure you have all the right forms filled right , as in the names and dates , hospitals forms and insurance claims . What a joy . As I said the power of the desk . Bureaucracy .

I asked

I had started to walk away and realized activation was another option. I guess she wanted this option to sound easier—instead of the "carta" to close it, it was only a "cartita" from the company that doesn't exist to reactivate it. :-)

I have a laser printer so it will get resolved but with another trip to Estelí.

Think as Nica

The girl at the bank only needs something on file to save her ass, in case her dumb new boss questions her for trying to be smart. But if you think as a Nica, you should have gone to the nearest cybercafe, composed a letter with a nice logo and letterhead, pay ten cordobas to the guy/lady there to have the letter print (like the Chinandega's attorney a few weeks ago). Then, an an hour later, take it to the bank, smile and everyone would have been happy. As an old Nica bank boss said, if it is difficult, we will make it impossible.

Have fun, Fyl

No Linux Cyber cafes yet

I have mo problem creating a dummy letterhead to humor a bank but I do have morals. I am not about to use Microsoft software to do it. (Even being a stolen copy doesn't make me feel any better.) Next time I will bring a laptop.

Actually, I have the "magic" back here—a round rubber stamp with the company name on it. That will certainly fix anything.

Note that Ana has the same observation about today's BANPRO at least in Estelí. They harass you about everything including "not quite perfect" signatures on checks. Her (and my) experience at BANCENTRO has been very different. With the exception of the one one clueless person there, they have been very professional and generally very easy to deal with. Almost makes you feel guilty when Nuevo Radio Ya calls Montealegre "la rata". :-)

You probably could have

You probably could have gotten away with a handwritten letter, done right there on the spot. I've been through several government transactions here where that worked.


Charlie you are an experienced resident! Not to say Phil isn't. But you think the way we do business here.

I can understand the frustration and often it gets the better of me. However lately less and less...

i will take

BAC any day over banpro