Roger Griffiths, a successful artist is Mapua, New Zealand, lost it when Westpac, the bank he'd been with for 25 years, declined to give him a NZ$80,000 (7,466,385.08 North Korean Won)mortgage because, as an artist, he doesn't have a regular income. He does, however, have a ton of property, a gallery show in NYC, and NZ$190,000 (301.471664g of platinum or 81,051.56 Burmese Khat) on deposit with Westpac. Which he promptly withdrew. In twenties. And then he deposited it with his local, community-oriented credit union, the Nelson Building Society. As Griffiths points out, Westpac is happy to lend to cigar-chomping loony industrialists like Lane Walker Rudkin Industries, who took Westpac for NZ$110,000,000 (10,860,852,632.40 Nigerian Nairas) in bad loans.
"They can lose $110 million with LWR but turn down a normal customer who has never missed a loan payment," he said. "If they don't have the trust in me after 25 years, there's a problem for Westpac."
Having decided to withdraw his money, he then decided to make it hard for the bank by requesting payment in $20 bills.
He said the Nelson branch told him it did not have that amount and he would have to also go to other branches at Stoke, Richmond and Motueka. However, he insisted the bank have the money ready to collect at 9am today. He then took it to the Nelson Building Society, saying he would rather deal with NBS because it was part of the community.
His message to Westpac: "If you don't support the community, the community won't support you."
$190,000 withdrawn in $20 bills
(Image: MARTIN DE RUYTER/ The Nelson Mail)