Few things make my blood boil easier than walking into a Taiwanese bank.

For 12 years we have been banking with Shanghai Bank which I am guessing is not better or worse than any other bank, but they had the branch closest to our old office and lucky for them, one close to our new office as well.

One of the things that has annoyed me over the years is that my company has not had a VISA or MasterCard of its own. This means that every time I need to buy something from a foreign website, I need to use my own personal credit card which makes my accountant unhappy. Personal and company economies should not be mixed this way.

Today I had to stop by the bank to change some addresses for my own personal banking and since that took about 40 minutes I started asking about my old pet peeve the company credit card. The teller called a manager down who started telling me that the law said that a foreigner or a company with a foreign fuzeren would need a guarantor to qualify for a credit card. Well, I told her that I knew for a fact that the law did not say so and if I were wrong could she please fax me that law? She said she would.

Twenty minutes later she called me and said that it was their internal company rules, not the law. Fine with me, every company has the right to have their own rules even when they make no sense (let’s compare how many foreigners vs Taiwanese we know who have run away from Taiwan with millions or billions in debt). But she suggested a solution. If we were willing to put a specific amount of money in a locked account we could use 80% of that for our “credit limit.” This is fine with me. Our current balance is way more than I need available on a card, but why do they, can they, call this a credit card?

Banks are mysterious, frustrating and sometimes more than a little insulting.