Black holes

July 26th, 2022 | Bodega

OK, so I should start by saying that today’s post about ‘Black Holes’ has nothing to do with the James Webb Space Telescope and the plethora of discoveries that have started to unfold since its launch. Believe it or not this is to do with Spanish banking!

Some years ago, when an importer purchased wine from a bodega payment would be made quite simply by sending a cheque through the post (hence the often abused expression “the cheque is in the post”!).

These days, thanks to advances in technology, this old system has almost completely disappeared, and invoices are now mostly settled by electronic transfer. Using this system money can be moved almost instantaneously, although transfers between businesses usually take up to 24 hours within the same country, whilst overseas transfers should normally be completed within two working days (depending on the countries involved). Well, that’s the theory at least….

My experience in Spain, however, is not quite so straightforward, and perhaps could best be described as erratic. When a customer pays us by transfer we usually receive confirmation (a copy of the transaction), providing us with the exact time and date that it was completed. Unfortunately, this is where, on some occasions, our money vanishes into a ‘banking black hole’ and then magically re-appears up to a week later in our account. This normally only happens when we start to follow up the missing transfer. Personally I think that this is a scandal, and certainly should not happen in this day and age. Do you sometimes get the feeling that your money is being manipulated?….

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