News: Foreign worker’s bank draft uncashable in Vietnam

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Published in the August 28 2010 issue of The Edmonton Sun. News


Foreign worker’s bank draft uncashable in Vietnam

Andy Yap is frustrated.

His friend Lu Nguyen, who had worked as a temporary foreign worker in Edmonton for two years, is back in Vietnam and out $7,000.

Before Nguyen’s work permit expired in July, she went to her TD branch to cash out her savings.

Because the amount was so large, tellers instead gave her a bank draft and told her she could cash it when she returned to Vietnam.

But when Nguyen, 43, went to cash the cheque back home, every bank in Vietnam she approached said they couldn’t do it.

“No one in Vietnam knew what TD bank was,” Yap said.

Yap approached the TD branch at 6527 118 Ave. on behalf of Nguyen. Managers weren’t able to say which banks in Vietnam could take the TD cheque.

“You say you can cash it anywhere in the world, but then you can’t give people the address of where to cash it out,” the frustrated friend said.

While it’s been over a month since the problem was first reported to TD, a spokesperson said Friday that the bank is currently working to solve the issue and give Nguyen back the money she worked for years to earn.

“We’re working with her branch in Vietnam to work it out,” said Jacqueline Burns, media relations with TD’s Alberta branches. “We’re doing everything we can to help.”

She adds that Nguyen’s Edmonton branch was not at fault for the bank draft error.

“TD is an internationally recognized bank. It’s not something we had expected,” Burns said. “The issue stemmed on the Vietnam side. We didn’t cause the problem.”

Burns said for client privacy reasons, managers at the branch weren’t able to work with Yap.

But while the bank is now working as quickly as they can to resolve the problem, Yap said it’s six weeks too late.

“Now they say they are doing something. Why not six weeks ago?,” he said. “It’s ridiculous.”

Nguyen is missing the money she spent two years saving, he said. “Seven-thousand dollars is a lot of money over there,” Yap said. “Hopefully they do something right away now.”

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