Man withdraws $190,000 in $20 bills

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Last week, Roger Griffiths, a proud customer of Westpac Bank for 25 years, withdrew his $190,000 savings in $20 bills after he was denied a mortgage loan.

Westpac, the second largest bank in New Zealand, rejected Griffiths' application for an $80,000 mortgage because he did not have steady income as an artist. Griffith stated that he is a successful artist, with his paintings displayed in New York's World of Wearable Art. He also seems to be financially set:

  • The property in Mapua, NZ cost $385,000.
  • Griffiths had $200,000 saved in cash and was about to sell his $110,000 campervan.
  • According to Griffiths, the property would have generated $500 per week. (Cash flow from commercial use and a residential home)

All of these financials exceed Wetpac Bank's criteria for a 20% down payment. Griffiths was very upset when he learned of his mortgage denial. He notified the bank of his upcoming withdrawal, and his local branch provided him with a red and black duffle bag to carry out all of his savings in cash.
Griffiths' loan rejection was not the only reason to depart from Westpac Bank. A record of bad business furthered his decision.

Westpac recently loss $111 million to Lane Walker Rudin Industries, a top New Zealand clothing firm. Being that Griffiths is such a loyal customer (he claims he never missed a loan payment), one would expect the bank to do business with proven, financially responsible local holders, instead of risky corporations.


Earlier this month, Westpac's Alexandra branch manager confessed to defrauding the bank up to $400,000 and allowed $10 million to be wrongly credited to a client who has recently fled to China.

Now I understand why Griffiths was fed up with this bank. It takes a lot of hard work to remain financially stable in this global recession. Since when does not having a "steady income" mean you are financially irresponsible? His financial record seems to be far better than Westpac. With all of its shady dealings, I still wonder why they are rated as "bank of the year" by Money Magazine.
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