my new employer requires me to open an account with citibank into which my salary would be paid. this is now going to force me to change my “policy” of not having accounts with foreign banks.
seriously, i see no incentive for a “retail customer” such as me to bank with a foreign bank (except under the current circumstance). ATM network is bad and restricted to a few cities. even the ATMs that are there see really long queues. then, service charges for various services are exorbitant and there is loads of fine print.
on the other hand, I have accounts with SBI and ICICI and have absolutely no cribs with them. Excellent ATM netwrok, courteous people at the branch, no arbit service charges… Somehow feel more “at home” banking with these guys. Why, oh why, couldn’t my employer just credit my salary into one of these rather than asking me to open a citi account?
On a related note, I am going to apply for an American Express card which I would be using for business-related expenses. I had a similar card at my previous firm also. Now, American Express service charges are twice that of VISA or Mastercard and a large number of vendors don’t accept AMEX. most online portals are also not amex-enabled. However, these MNCs have a “global best practice” system and if they give AMEX in america, it has to be AMEX in india.
On a related note, an american colleague at my previous job told me that in the US it is really tough to get an AMEX and it is seen as a matter of pride to have one. I don’t care for my pride in the US. All I care for is to be able to use my corporate card whenever there is some expense-able expense. Why the hell don’t they give me a VISA or mastercard?