for crying out loud

AIB insists there must be a SORT or SWIFT code for my bank in Alaska. My bank in Alaska insists it has no such thing. AIB says they SUPPOSE I can try to send money using the routing code that FNBA provided, but they don’t think it’ll work and that they can’t possibly see how the bank can’t have the codes AIB says it should.

I believe that on Thursday, when Ted has the day off, we will go talk to the other banks and find out if they, too, are stymied by a bullheadedness of Minoan proportions, or if switching banks will alleviate this problem. In the meantime, possibly somebody can tell me: does Ireland have the equivilant of cashier’s cheques? A bank check, I mean, something that can be accepted as cash by another bank? Something that I could have drawn and could send to my bank in Alaska that they would cash without the #$(*)& delay that seems to be haunting international finances? Because this is just bullshit. -.-

I discovered somewhat belatedly that signup for classes is from 9am to 1pm, so perhaps I’ll do that Thursday too. I’ve gotten a fair amount of the Chance script done, though.

miles to Isengard: 248


  1. gothwalk

    (Pointed here by )

    Your Alaskan bank should indeed have a SORT or SWIFT code, and AIB are not trying to bullshit you :). I’ve done money transfers to the US, and they always used SWIFT codes. I do recall a bank in Alabama trying to maintain that they had no such code, until an official from my bank (AIB, as it happens) found it by mysterious other means and told them what it was.

    That aside, a bank draft is like a cheque, and can be made out to whoever you like, up to and including yourself. I’m not sure if they work outside Ireland, though, so you might want an International Money Order.

  2. mizkit

    I would indeed not be at all surprised to discover that my Alaskan bank should or does have such a code. I just have *no idea* how to get them to give it to me, at this point. Thank you hugely for the information, though. This has been incredibly aggravating.

    Does one get an international money order at the bank?

  3. gothwalk

    One does indeed.

    However, what might be best of all is to go into the bank, go to the customer service desk, and say “Look, I’m having awful hassle getting money to my account in the US, can you guide me through it?” and politely refuse to budge until such time as they’ve, for instance, phoned the bank in Alaska themselves. Once they’re confronted with a refusal to take no for an answer, they usually cooperate a bit more.

  4. irysangel

    I don’t know if this helps any, but I always insist on speaking to the ACH department (they deal with electronic transactions through the federal reserve) of the bank, rather than just a regular teller.

    Regular tellers don’t know a whole lot about the inner-workings of the bank.

  5. mizkit

    The bitter problem with doing that is Alaska is 9 hours behind Ireland. It’s just exactly the wrong amount of time to be *able* to have them call the bank in Alaska unless somebody’s willing to stay late. I’ll try calling the bank in Alaska tonight myself and see if I can get through to somebody outside of the customer service line, which is not, apparently, the right place to be asking questions.

    Again, thank you so much.

  6. irysangel

    ACH — Automated Clearing House

    See, the bank moves money back and forth (for example, with direct deposit) through the federal reserve. This is the department that deals with outside institutions such as the federal reserve.

    Which is why I think you’ll have more luck with them. :)

  7. anonymous

    being that i am a bank teller in the exact bank you are having problems with :) the numbers you should need are the routing number of the bank and the ABA number. maybe if you ask for those using those words you may get what you need. to my knowlege, and being fairly new to the job, i have never heard of a swift number, so maybe we just dont use those words! i could tell you the routing number for the branch of fnba that i work at but i am not for positive the aba number. but i could find out for you if you like!


  8. anonymous

    oh, and on the subject of a bank check… if you are sending an international bank draft, make absolutely sure that it is drawn in US FUNDS. then if it is a large amount, say over $5000.00 expect them to put a hold on the funds. if they put a regular hold it would probably 7 days, if they send it on collection it could be upwards of 30 days. whether they do either of these things depends solely on your account “relationship” with the bank, ie. how long has the account been open, and how much of an average balance do you hold, and is entirely up to the bank supervisor. so if you need immediate access to the funds a wire transfer is definately the way to go. so try to figure that our first!! hope this helps!


  9. janne

    Heh, I recall having the exact same argument with a bank when I tried to transfer money from Norway to Germany via SWIFT — in 1980 or thereabouts. Amazing that it isn’t better known by now. I found the following link informative, btw, while I can’t vouch for the details it fits with what I’ve heard about the system elsewhere.

  10. anonymous

    ok, here’s the deal… swift codes are used by foreign banks who use and intermediary bank to wire money. american banks get wires directly with out the use of an intermediary bank therefore do not use swift codes. all you need is your account number, the name of your bank and the banks routing number. as insistant as your bank was that you NEED a swift code you need to be doubly insistant that you DO NOT!! hope this helps. let me know how it all turns out! good luck!


  11. xnamkrad

    Talking to another bank probably won’t help as AFAIK all the banks in Ireland use the same coding structure. Actually I think Ireland is almost unique in that regard.

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