Geezer of our acquaintance has cashed many...

A WELL-TRAVELED

June 11, 1993

A WELL-TRAVELED geezer of our acquaintance has cashed many a U.S. dollar travelers check into pounds sterling, French francs, Greek drachmas, Italian lire, Austrian schillings, Spanish pesos and other currencies, often at out-of-the-way towns well off the beaten path.

Imagine his surprise a few days ago when, waiting to transact business at the Roland Park branch of the First National Bank, he saw two women having difficulty getting cash for U.S. dollar American Express travelers checks. The first woman was obviously a patron of the bank who had transacted some business. The second was not.

When she asked the teller to cash $300 in travelers checks the teller refused because the woman did not have an account at the bank. The limit was $100, she said. That was bank policy. She did relent somewhat when the companion, the bank patron, was asked to guarantee the checks by having her account number recorded on them. That way the second woman got her $300 in cash.

When queried about this, the teller replied that it was bank policy not to cash more than $100 to non-patrons. Imagine what would have happened if the checks had been in Japanese yen! Even worse, what if they had been "You Are Here -- He Is There" checks. To paraphrase a slogan, "She should have left home without them."

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