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Important aspects of a customer's co-operation with the bank.
It can be seen, therefore, that the requirements made of new customers by Western European banks differ greatly from those made by Eastern European banks. That is why the customer's relationship with the bank is built up according to entirely different principles. First of all, it must not be forgotten that, from the bank's point of view, the matter concerns "offshore" customers, i.e. customers located far from the bank and correspondingly more difficult to control and harder to reach.

One consequence of this is the bank's possible lack of confidence in such customers. For example, this may become apparent in the fact that when the customer deposits a large sum into his account, the bank may ask to see a contract or an account on the grounds of which the funds have been transferred. Such practice is not at all exceptional. Supplying the required information immediately may greatly increase the bank's confidence in the customer, and probably decrease the possibility of such checks in the future. It is necessary to understand fully the position of the banks: banks do not want to deal with funds with a dubious or questionable source, and the risk of a bank finding itself in a compromising situation grows proportionately with the number of new accounts opened.

One very important way to build up a good rapport between customer and bank is to make it possible for the bank to contact the customer personally by telephone or fax at any time. This situation also applies in cases where the customer does not wish to have bank correspondence sent directly to him. Customers should give some thought to this issue beforehand and it should also be taken into consideration when filling in the questionnaire provided by LAVECO LTD.

At present, the opinion that the bank is only interested in the quantity of money, and that if a customer has a lot of it, then the bank shouldn't ask any questions ("they should be glad that we chose to bank with them and behave themselves properly") is widespread in Eastern Europe. Although it is true that banks are interested in large customers, this opinion is erroneous, and there are many examples of banks refusing to open accounts for customers who intended to place very large amounts of money with them. Such refusals clearly stem from the fact that the potential customers failed to gain the confidence of the banks.

When working with Western European banks one should remember that the majority of the banks were founded a very long time ago and that they have an extensive network of customers, many of whom the bank has been working with for several generations. Naturally, the bank is very keen not to lose the confidence of its customers, which may occur if the bank turns out to be involved in any financial scandal. In this case the bank does not only lose its customers, but its good reputation is also in danger, to say nothing of the huge fines imposed on the bank in the event of it being found guilty of financial negligence or dishonest conduct. For example, in Switzerland a fine of up to 10 million Swiss francs can be imposed on a bank found to be involved in "money laundering".

Taking all this into consideration, it is no wonder that banks are very suspicious of new customers from Eastern Europe, many of whom do not have a long credit history. The anxiety and lack of trust of the banks only grow due to the fact that more and more scandals connected with "dirty" money, originating in Eastern Europe, have appeared in recent years.

The basic business principles of the Western European banks are founded on their long history and experience, normative acts, developed banking systems and the legislation of the countries in which the banks operate. Guided by these principles, on the one hand the bank guarantees the secrecy of deposits and full confidentiality regarding any information obtained from customers, and, on the other hand, expects and deserves to be treated with respect.

Naturally, when writing this section it was not our intention to make our customers less interested in opening accounts with Western banks. On the contrary, we want as many of our clients as possible to be able to establish a fruitful co-operation with Western banks, in whom they will find reliable partners for their financial matters.

At the same time, it is our opinion that in order to obtain maximum satisfaction from the co-operation with a bank, it is imperative for the client to receive as much information as possible about the way the bank works (whether it is possible for them to open an account, the basic rules on managing the account etc.). Our intention in this section, which does not attempt to be a thorough study, is merely to provide another service and supply our clients with all the information we consider necessary.
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