This morning we wandered downhill into Jalón to see how our new house insurance policy was progressing. It turned out that it was progressing quite nicely and was ready for collection and, mas importante, for payment. Now, if our existing policy has actually been cancelled, all will be well, but that’s another story.
Since our route would take us past our mail buzon [box], Francine decided to check it. Unexpectedly, she found a letter, addressed to her rather than me or us, from our bank relating to our joint Spanish bank account. The bank must have been on the ball, I thought, because the letter was in English, so we had little trouble understanding the mystifying message. The message was less welcome. It was from a business manager and claimed that the bank did not have the required documentation relating to Francine’s tax status and business income. If we did not supply the required documentation – a tax form 062 was mentioned – online services, deposits and withdrawals, would be suspended from 12th February. Curious; we know our legal eagles submit yearly non-resident tax information. Maybe the bank didn’t get them but why Francine and not me?
After completing our insurance visit, we set off for the bank in search of explanation. As is usual, there was a queue; three people were waiting for two tellers, both of whom were currently occupied. One was occupied with a man in a red sweater. No transaction with a teller in Spain seems swift so we decided to go and have a coffee in the hope that the bank would quieten down a bit.
It didn’t. Now four people were waiting. Señor Jersey Rojo was still with his teller and very attractive she was, too. There was nothing for it, we joined the queue.
I was bemused by the transaction that Señor Jersey Rojo was engaged in with Señora Atractivo. There seemed to be lengthy periods of inactivity, with very occasional taps by Señora Atractivo on her keyboard whilst staring intently at her monitor. Every now and then, Señor Jersey Rojo would pick up a stylus and scribble something approaching a signature on a touch pad. A printer would sometimes chunter into operation.
This continued for 30 minutes, during which time the remaining teller slowly whittled down the queue until we were on. Francine presented her letter and explained that we were mystified. Our teller consulted his monitor, then he consulted Señora Atractivo who left Señor Jersey Rojo for a few moments so she could stare at our teller’s monitor.
“Oh, that’s just a standard letter”, explained Señora Atractivo. “We have everything”, added our teller and proceeded to tear up Francine’s letter. Francine and I stared at each other in disbelief.
“But does La Caixa [the bank] know you have everything and why send the letter in the first place?” Smiles and a hint of a shrug. Now letterless, we left the bank.
Señor Jersey Rojo was still sitting there.