Archive for the ‘bureaucracy’ category

Banking business is tough

March 22, 2007


Today I went with Andreea to get her a Swedish identity card. She got her personal number (the Swedish sort-of equivalent of social security number) yesterday, which is opening doors to healthcare, education and all sorts of things. In Sweden you’re nothing and nobody without a personal number. Andreea is now officially something and somebody to the Swedish government. Yay!

However, getting an ID-card turns out to be more complicated than I first thought. To apply for the card you go to the nearest bank, fill out some forms and wait for a couple of weeks. At least, that’s what I thought. At the first bank we went to, Handelsbanken, the woman at the cashier gleefully asked me…

– Are you a customer of our bank?
– No…? I replied waringly
– We only take ID applications from our own customers. Go to your bank and apply for her ID there.
– …

I was amazed. Had she asked us if Andreea were perhaps interested in opening a savings or paycheck account in their bank, she’d said yes immideately. But instead, she turned a potential customer away for the simple reason that the person accompanying her already is a customer of another bank. They must feel very content just keeping the customers they already have, taking on new ones is way to much work I guess.

The second bank refused to accept my passport as personal identification, which was needed to for me to vouch for Andreeas application. I’m picking up my own identity card tomorrow (the old one expired a while ago), so no card for Andreea today.

There’s nothing like Swedish bureaucracy…