Backstory: A few years ago, I received a check made out in Canadian money for about fourteen thousand dollars. (For a closed Canadian insurance policy.) When I went to deposit that check into my account, the bank teller informed me I’d be required to pay a “service charge” of four hundred dollars. Four hundred dollars. For converting a Canadian check into American money. I am determined never to pay such an exorbitant charge again.
1. I receive a check made out in Canadian money for fifteen thousand dollars. (For a closed forty year-old Canadian mutual fund.) The current exchange rate reveals that Canadian money is worth more than American money.
2. After conferring with my accountant, I endorse the check, and I send it to my brother in Toronto, requesting him to deposit it into his account, have them cut him a check for the “conversion amount” in American money (for which his bank charges ten dollars), endorse the check, and return it to me. This strategy will allow me to avoid the outrageous four hundred dollar “service charge” demanded by my bank.
3. The plan is foiled, however, when, lacking verification of my identity, my brother’s bank refuses to accept the check.
4. In the interim, I call my bank, ready to fight the four hundred dollar “service charge.” A representative informs me that my bank hadn't elicited a charge for exchange rate services for some time. Greatly relieved, I inform my brother that the issue had been resolved, and I ask him to return the check to me.
5. I receive the returned check, and I deliver it to my bank. It turns out that, during the interceding period, the exchange rate has changed, and Canadian money is now worth less than American money. In the end, the amount deposited into my account is fifteen thousand dollars, minus the “conversion amount”
Which at this time,
Is four hundred dollars.