$190,000 withdrawn in $20 bills
Irate bank customer hits back
By LAURA BASHAM – The Nelson Mail
Defiant Mapua artist Roger Griffiths today made a stand against Westpac by withdrawing his $190,000 savings in $20 notes.
The bank provided a red-and-black carry bag to take away the cash after meticulously counting it in front of Mr Griffiths at its Nelson branch.
Mr Griffiths, a loyal Westpac customer for 25 years, decided to withdraw his money after the bank rejected his application for an $80,000 mortgage. “It’s about time normal people took a stand.”
He said the bank turned down his application because he did not have a regular income as an artist. However, he was a successful artist, exhibiting his paintings at the World of Wearable Art complex, in Christchurch and New York, he said.
He wanted to buy a $385,000 property in Mapua, had $200,000 in cash and was going to sell his $110,000 campervan.
That more than met the bank’s criteria for a 20 per cent deposit, and the property which included a home and commercial premises would have returned $500 a week, he said.
Having decided to withdraw his money, he then decided to make it hard for the bank by requesting payment in $20 bills.
He said the Nelson branch told him it did not have that amount and he would have to also go to other branches at Stoke, Richmond and Motueka. However, he insisted the bank have the money ready to collect at 9am today. He then took it to the Nelson Building Society, saying he would rather deal with NBS because it was part of the community.