Re: [802SEC] 802 Banking account proposal
I wanted to post answers to Bill Q's and Geoff T's questions from a few
days ago on the proposal for concentration banking. They are all great
questions, so let me address them one-by-one. My answers are in brackets
below. My thanks to Anita Ricketts, Bus Manager of IEEE SA office for
helping me track these down.
So reproducing the questions:
1) What if any are the restrictions on the life of a
concentration banking account and will there be any change in the
account number or other identification of the account during the life of
[JH: There are no restrictions, nor are there anticipated changes in
the IEEE relationship with Wachovia which might lead to a change in the
account number. The account will be open as long as IEEE 802 is around.
I'd be careful about saying the account number/ID would "never" change,
but it would be an out-of-the ordinary situation, were that to occur.
Who knows, Wachovia could get acquired, they could adopt an alternate
numbering convention, etc... which might lead to a change. But then
again, that would be the case with any bank including our present one.
Concentration banking would not add to or subtract from that risk.]
2) Can a hotel or other organization with which 802 needs to
establish an account/credit get confirmation of the 802 account and
other appropriate 802 account specific information as can be obtained
from an independent bank account?
And Geoff piles on: I am curious as to the credibility (from a hotel or
other vendor's point of view) of somebody at the IEEE vs. talking to a
bank when seeking to establish our credit worthiness. It seems to me
this might be an issue.
I assume that if our banking is concentrated that our vendors
can not call the bank directly for information on a sub-account. If we
expect that this sub-account information is to be available directly
from the bank then we need to definitively establish that this will be
[JH: The vendor would speak directly to the bank, and the bank would
provide information based on the entire IEEE account. IEEE is aware of
this practice and allows it. The credit worthiness would be established
with the entire IEEE. So, we should benefit in that the credit
worthiness for the IEEE 802 activity would be based on the entire
holdings of the IEEE, not just those of IEEE 802. We have not had
issues with this in the past, but alas, it would give us some "headroom]
3) Under what conditions would the IEEE withdraw funds from the
account and if funds were withdrawn, what are the justifications for
such a withdrawal, what notice would be provided to 802 and what is the
timing of such notice?
[JH: Currently, there are no conditions under which IEEE withdraws funds
from concentration banking accounts. The Director of Treasury is of the
opinion that a wholesale commandeering of the funds in Concentration
Banking would require an action of the IEEE Board of Directors and would
impact Regions, Sections and Conferences as well as Standards. In other
words, it is not impossible, but it is highly unlikely and
unforeseeable, just as it is today with the staff signature on the
existing IEEE 802 bank account.]
4) What is the mechanism and approval chain for 802 to cause a
domestic or international wire transfer to issued?
[JH: Approval: the request must come from a signer on the account and
there must be sufficient funds in the account to cover the transfer
amount. Mechanism: signer sends the request via email to Standards, (at
this time = Anita). Standards makes the request of Treasury and
Treasury executes the wire transfer with the bank. It is not clear to me
at present if this can be done online with Wachovia. That would be my
preferred method. (I'll work with Anita to look into that)]
5) What fees and additional exchange rate (in excess of the bank
to bank exchange rate) are imposed on domestic and international wire
[JH: None. IEEE does not charge a fee for executing the request.]
6) Does the use of concentration banking require that 802 use
the IEEE for credit card processing services? In the past the IEEE
charges for credit card processing were significantly greater (3x-4x)
than the rates 802 paid using it own merchant accounts. Or can the
existing 802 merchants be used and linked to a concentration banking
account? If the existing 802 merchant accounts can be used, is there
any additional charge imposed for this linkage to a concentration
[JH: No, it is not required. We will need to set it up initially, of
course, but no fees are incurred from IEEE or Wachovia's standpoint. The
merchant accounts may have a one-time adminstrative fee to change over
to a new bank account (I need to look into that).]
7) What other restrictions would the use of concentration
banking impose of the financial activities of 802?
[JH: None beyond the ones listed on the Concentration Banking site I
pointed to earlier:
8) Are there any limits on the dollar amount of a check written
on the account?
[JH: There are no dollar limits on a check.]
9) Are there any requirements for multiple signatures on checks
or for checks greater than some threshold amount?
[JH: There are no such requirements on the accounts]
On the local access issue:
1) What is the drill required to change signatures on the
account? Can that all be done by mail?
[JH: The 802 EC would need to approve the signer via motion. Anita then
would be alerted when this is complete. She will email the form to the
person or persons to be added to the account. They will fill out the
forms and mail forms to her attention. Standards will confirm the
signer is an IEEE Member (Member Grade or higher) in good standing.
Standards will forward to Treasury for action with the bank. ]
On the advantages of concentration banking:
1) The IEEE made it clear on multiple occasions in the past that
it did not want 802 to have any credit cards. Such cards were available
from US Bank and would have been useful for certain 802 purchases and I
considered getting one or two. But no cards were obtained due to IEEE
objections. Has the IEEE changed it policy or is this just a ploy to
encourage groups to use concentration banking?
[JH: That policy remains in effect. What is issued is a MasterCard debit
card. It looks like a credit card, but is, in fact, a debit card. Any
charges against the card will be withdrawn from the IEEE 802 account. It
has the convenience of a credit card, without actually being one. Having
said all this, I am not convinced we would use this benefit, but it is
an option. The vast majority of our transactions are satisfactorily
accomplished by check.]
2) On line access is available from all major banks including US
[JH: You are correct. I've investigated US Bank's online offer in the
past, and haven't bothered to apply because it buys me nothing.
Ironically you have to visit a branch in person to get it set up...
(sigh). Traditional wire payments are not possible. A bank transfer is
possible, but the vendor's bank account number/info must be spelled out
in the initial online banking appplication. And that application (you
guessed it) needs to be delivered in person to a branch location (double
sigh). Finally, it's not free, although I can't find out anywhere online
that tells me how much it would cost, just that there is a fee. Other
banks, I'm sure, are a bit more enlightened in these areas.]
[JH: I hope this helps answer these specific questions. Are there more?
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