The SWIFT system is more centralized than many realize. An international transfer made in USD has to go through a US bank, like Wells Fargo. This applies to USD transfers that have nothing to do with the US. An international businessman named Simon Black recently learned how troublesome this system can be.
Mr. Black is an entrepreneur who has a global vision. According to his blog, a transfer of USD 4 million was frozen by Wells Fargo. There was no solid reason given for the lack of performance by Wells Fargo. The transfer officer was quoted by Mr. Black as saying that he wasn’t, “comfortable with the transfer.”
Once a US bank freezes a transfer, it isn’t easy to reclaim your money. The bank apparently has no responsibility to the people they serve. The transfer in question was from a reputable source and bound for London. The USD 4 million was destined for a private UK company that has a legitimate business. According to Mr. Black, Wells Fargo made no effort to investigate the matter whatsoever.
Wells Fargo is an example of the rule
Money that a person gives to a bank is no longer theirs. Many people don’t understand this. For Mr. Black to unfreeze his USD 4 million, a lot of work was required. He had to dispatch an assistant to New York and provide extensive information to Wells Fargo. To be clear, there was no evidence of wrongdoing or suspicious activity.
Money center banks have a position that is unassailable. They make the rules. If a person wants to use the global financial system, they must submit to any and all demands a bank makes. In this case, Simon Black was guilty until proven innocent.
Unsurprisingly, Mr. Black wasn’t happy with the service he received from Wells Fargo. The banks don’t seem to respect the rights of a person to transfer their money for legal purposes. The idea that a banking entity can freeze your funds, and deny service without any evidence of wrongdoing, should be unsettling to anyone.
Cryptos change the game
Recently an Argentine bank used the Bitcoin blockchain to replace SWIFT. Cryptocurrencies make a lot of sense for people that want to maintain control over their money. Decentralized currency offers advantages over the current banking system. A person never has to give control of their assets over to a third party with cryptocurrency.
Simon Black sees the potential of crypto finance to unseat the existing banking system. It is should be easy to see why he would want a better alternative after his experience with Wells Fargo. There is no excuse for the kind of disregard Wells Fargo apparently displayed to Mr. Black. He probably isn’t alone in wanting to have alternative means of transferring money internationally.
Nicholas Say was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has traveled extensively, lived in Uruguay for many years, and currently resides in the Far East. His writing can be found all over the web, with special emphasis placed on realistic development, and the next generation of human technology.