FNB charging insanely unreasonable fees for simple bank guaranteed cheque

by Henry Jacobson

FNB South Africa has now truly gone crazy and has resorted to extreme exploitation of their customers who need bank guaranteed cheques for certain payment situations.

On the 19th of June 2019 I went to an FNB branch where I hold an account, to request a bank guaranteed cheque as required to pay for a vehicle licence renewal by mail.

The reason I chose to renew the licence by post is because the post office and vehicle registration offices are both so busy that an attempt a week before to renew the license, only ended up in a really long waiting time in a queue, and after more than an hour it was obvious that this exercise is going to simply require more waiting time than any person with anything else to do in their lifetime has available to them.

Not to mention they now require that you also provide proof of address in order to pay them for a licence, requiring more of your time and money and effort to obtain. Yep, things are truly insane now in South Africa.

The insufficient ways of the corrupt ANC "government" provided for the public to renew their licenses makes one wonder why anybody still bothers to even do it. But that's a discussion for another topic.

Right now, my unhappiness is with FNB.

Firstly, thinking I might save some time renewing the licence by post compared to the post office or vehicle registration offices, proved wrong, as I ended up waiting an hour and a half at FNB before it was my turn in the queue. Pathetic.

But secondly was their horrid greedy way of conducting business. Although the clerk helping me was good, he informed me that FNB doesn't want to give out bank guaranteed cheques anymore, and to discourage people from asking for them, they are going to ask R120.00 to issue it. (I was informed by a friend that it used to be something like R5.)

This is absolute insanity but they would not budge. He says there is too much risk to cheques. Asif. For a bank guaranteed cheque they take the money from my account and issue me a cheque for it in the name of the entity I want to pay. Where is the risk? There is of course none. FNB is just being a horrid, sickening greedy louse again, really not worthy of my business, so I don't know why I even bother. I should really close my accounts and be rid of them.

After filling in all the paperwork and whatnot, the clerk goes to "negotiate" the cheque. This for some mind boggling reason takes about 20 minutes to half an hour.

He finally returns with the cheque and say "Do you see now why it costs R120?" to which I respond no. He says "it takes so much time to get it ready", to which I respond "why? There's like two lines of handwritten text on the cheque. Who in blazes writes that slow??"

He can see I'm quite tired of their bullcrap and exploitation, so we just say goodbye and I leave with the cheque which FNB makes far more trouble than it's worth, after having asked an exhorbitant fee for it of course. I really, really should close my accounts at FNB.

Just to piss me off completely, I afterwards see on the account statement that not only did they ask R120 to write me the blooming little cheque, they also added a R70 transaction fee on top of it.

So all in all, FNB thinks in their arrogant, evil, extortionist mind that R190 is a fair price to ask for a simple, small little paper cheque on which they carry no risk.

As a customer I rate the service I received from them less than zero. Horrible bank, horrible experience dealing with them.