Our local church, Šárka Valley Community Church (Baptist) (SVCC) has decided to open a new bank account. Our current state-owned bank is proving rather expensive in looking after our money. Only a limited number of Czech Banks offer accounts for churches, but the Czech Post office seemed to offer a good deal on internet banking according to their adverts so SVCC officers, Petra and Keith, went to the main office in Prague 6 to open an account armed with our Certificate as a Church from the Ministry of Culture, our Finance Ministry IČO number and many other records.
The liberally tattooed bank clerk was delighted to see us, but declared she had never heard of our type of account. We showed her the adverts for it – then followed 90 minutes of colleague support, phone calls to superiors, searching for the correct forms and then a debate amongst staff as to how to fill them in – after all we are a “first” – then confirmation of my Czech birth number (I was ready with shoe and collar size in case they would help), faxing of documents to “higher beings” who will, apparently, send an sms to either Petra’s or my mobile within fourteen days to say if we can have an account!
Then will begin the fun of trying to pay money in, transferring our funds from our existing account and ultimately the even bigger challenge of closing the existing account.