I refused to sign the banks nosey form. Now what?

So I went to my personal bank (not the one I have business accounts with) and withdrew exactly $5K in cash. First time I withdrew anything from that account in months.

The teller starts asking me “what do you plan on doing with this money”.

:mad: FO!

Then she hands me a form with an area on it to explain what I’m going to do with such a large amount of cash! Tells me it goes to their security department! “You can write paying off a car, vacation, or whatever” she says.


It was all I could do to remain a gentleman and not write **FUCK YOU **in the biggest letters I could on that form.

Keep in mind, this was a form from the bank, not the IRS. But even when I’ve withdrawn over $10K nobody has ever handed me a goddamned form to explain what I plan to do with the bread.

Any way, I refused to write anything on that form or sign it. She just wrote “refused” across it.

WTF was that all about? Are all banks doing this now? I’ve been going to that bank since 1994. So what, if anything happens now? Not that I give a shit. Am I on a subversive list now? That encounter sure enhanced my belligerence for the day.

It’s part of KYC and AML regulations

KYC - Know Your Customer
AML - Anti Money Laundering

Basically banks are required to proactively inquire about who they are banking with, and what those people / entities are doing. They can’t use “we didn’t know and didn’t try to” as an excuse for involvement in any criminal activity.

So things like withdrawing large amounts of cash, triggers a requirement on them to proactively ask why and if the answer merits further inquiry, to do so. It’s nothing personal!

I’m sure it has something to do with anti-money laundering laws. If the banks or the IRS notice some kind suspicious volume in your money moving habits, they can use forms like this to establish a pattern that may potentially lead to prosecution.

Smarter Dopers will be along shortly to fill in the blanks.
ETA - ninja’d

I go to two different banks nearly every day to make deposits for work. One of the banks, the first time you make a deposit asks for your ID and SSN. They did it to me years ago, if I send an employee to make the deposit they’ll do it to them. So far as I know, they haven’t changed their policy, but they do make note of who makes the deposit. That they know me by name is why they don’t ask for my ID. If know one there knew me (ie different tellers), they’d probably ask for it again.

The other bank I go to (US Bank) starting earlier this year began asking for my ID almost every single time (I believe if there’s more than 500 in cash involved). Some of these tellers I’ve known for nearly 20 years (from going to this branch). One time I was speaking with the branch manager and asked about this. I mentioned that one of the reasons this annoys me so much is because I keep losing my ID. That is, I need it for something and suddenly remember it’s at work, stuffed into a bank bag. Also, for a few weeks the owner lost his wallet. I asked them about that and they said he would’t be able to make a deposit. That seems over the top, the owner of the business, the person who’s name is on the account, that the tellers have known for decades can’t make a deposit into his own account.
Anyways, to swing back around to the OP, one of the things they always ask, in addition to getting my ID is ‘what is your job’? That kind of annoyed me, I get needing my ID, but my job. Naturally I said ‘uh, I work for the business that I’m making the deposit for’. Nope, they wanted to know what I do there. So I’d reply with ‘I bring the money to the bank’. Some said ‘ok’ some through a little hissy fit. At that point I started changing my ‘job’ each time. "I mop the floors’ or ‘I do all the roof repairs’. One of the times the teller said ‘that’s not one of the options’, at which point I said ‘all this time you have options to pick from, just tell me what they are and I’ll pick one’.

Anyway, yes, it’s just anti-money laundering. It gives them the ability to track who made the deposits. I’m sure if the IRS or FBI shows up, it just gives them more people to talk to even though many small businesses (even if they’re laundering money) just send random employees to the bank that likely have nothing to do with anything.

Also, you can no longer get a cashier’s check without depositing the money into your account and having them write the check off that. Same reasons, I assume.

TLDR, banks have to fill out a form if a withdrawal is over a certain amount. If it’s below that amount the can/should still do it if it’s ‘suspicious’. They’re also know IDing people for all deposits.

Banks are also supposed to have policies in place to oversee suspicious activity involving the accounts of elderly patrons.

It must get interesting if you’re an old guy that wants to withdraw 5K for whatever reason.

If a cash transaction exceeds $10K, they are required to file out a currency transaction report. Regardless of the amount, they may opt to fill out a suspicious activity report.

Customers who deliberately adjust their transactions to keep them below the $10K CTR limit can be charged with felony structuring, which carries severe penalties. Dennis Hastert, for example, was disgraced by allegations of child molestation, but it was structuring (associated with paying hush money to one of his victims) that landed him in prison.

This can’t be true, except maybe at your bank. I routinely deposit envelopes full of endorsed checks in the night deposit slot on the outside of my bank, without ever making contact with a bank employee; never had an issue.

The bank I have a business account at (Wells Fargo) Id’s for every cash deposit even if not getting cash back. This tripped up one of my employees once because he was just dropping the bag off and didn’t have his ID. They sent him back with a bunch of boring pamphlets on it.

Back to me. I refuse to tell them WTF I’m using the money for. What can they do about it? Close my account? Back in 2015 I pulled out $47,000 in cash and nobody waved this form at me.

What they said. The idea is to make a substantial cash transaction a big PITA so as to maximize the use of e-trackable transactions. As noticed, even though the “mandatory report” amount is still 10K, the banks are now on the hook for anything “suspicious”.

Yet my dad wired thousands to internet scammers for two years without Banco Popular asking any questions. Go figure.

Paging DrDeth, who is a bona fide expert in these matters.

There’s nothing illegal about depositing or withdrawing large amounts of cash. But if someone tries to evade certain reporting requirements by structuring such transactions to avoid reporting requirements, whether or not the person is actually attempting to launder cash, that person can be found guilty of a serious felony. There’s ample examples of small business owners who have heard that there’s a vague “problem” with depositing or withdrawing $10,000 or more of cash, so they deposit $6,000 one day, $5,000 the next, etc… and then suddenly find themselves in legal jeopardy even though their business is totally legitimate.

This article might be paywalled, I’m not sure…

I’d be tempted to write “drugs and prostitutes” on the form.

Anybody know what the consequences would be? Presuming I didn’t actually spend the money on drugs and prostitutes and therefore there is no actual evidence of a crime. Can smart-ass answers on dumb-ass forms get you into any trouble?

Knowing that people have been subject to prosecution, and even convicted, for structuring cash transactions when there was no underlying criminal activity, personally I would never dream of attempting to mislead, obfuscate, or otherwise play wise with any of the reporting requirements on such transactions. I don’t need such headaches.

i agree that it’s none of their business, but try to look at it as they are trying to protect you. In the last couple of years at work, we have had a few people who fell for some phone scams. One that fits here is a woman who was called and told that they were holding her adult daughter hostage. They made her stay on the phone, go to the bank, withdraw cash. They wanted her to go purchase gift cards and read the numbers to them. Her bank gave her form to fill out. Since she was still on the phone with the scammer/kidnapper, she knew she couldn’t say anything, so she wrote it on the form. The bank called 911, police were sent and through a series of notes, we got her daughters phone number and called her. She was at home, nothing was wrong, (we also had officers go to her home to verify), and we managed to save that woman’s savings account.

While it doesn’t happen in my area every day, it still happens. And while you may be smart enough to not fall for such a scam, but the bank doesn’t know that. People fall for various scams all the time. I really think the banks are trying to help combat this and this is one of their attempts.

And if there’s a bright lining to this. . . as suggested by the links above, if your response was to reply, “What am I gonna do with this? Wire it to Nigeria so I can get $3.4 million released to me! See, this Nigerian prince died without an heir, and if I help his daughter move the money out of the country she’ll give me 10%!” then perhaps the teller can at least provide some helpful additional detail on rich dead Nigerian Internet princes.

It’s entirely possible that it’s just their policy, I don’t know. Some googling shows that some banks are requiring ID for However, it should be noted that this is specifically about cash deposits, not checks. I’m not sure how they would handle night deposits of cash, I haven’t done that in years. What happens if you drop 25k in the night drop box?

Another thing some banks are doing not letting people deposit cash into someone else’s account (unless they’re listed on it). The ‘trick’ (not that it’s really a trick) is to deposit the money into your account and write a check into their account. It’s meant to create a trail.

Actually, it all boils down to CYA (Cover Your Ass).:wink:

That seems stupid, if I have a business, I might very well take in 6k one day and 5 k the next. I might end up doing just that as I sell off my mom’s antique collection.

To be perfectly clear: there is nothing wrong with depositing varying amounts of cash from one day to the next. The problem comes when someone intentionally manipulates the amounts being deposited in a futile effort to not trigger bank reporting requirements.

If your reason for making this sequence of deposits is specifically for the purpose of not triggering a CTR, then that is structuring and it is illegal. Any other reason for making this sequence of deposits (whether it’s gradually selling off an antique collection, or taking deposit advice from your cat or dog) is perfectly legal. If you have a long string of such transactions - especially transactions that are very close to the $10K limit - you may be contacted and asked to answer some questions, but as soon as it’s clear to them that you’re not structuring specifically to avoid triggering a CTR, everything’s fine.

I have never had this happen at a credit union.

Its an increasing phenomenon. Just say “living expenses”. Never say “investments” because then they have to follow up with more questions.