Someone I know who refuses to have a bank account of any kind spoke of how it was becoming more and more difficult to get cheques cashed without having a bank account, even when it was a government issued cheque and despite having sufficient proof of ID, even when the bank employees know who you are and previous cheques cashed have always been legitimate.
I listened in at a bank as a bank teller spoke to a customer about how she herself (the bank teller) and her husband take all their income out as cash because the banks now have the right to freeze and seize all the money in peoples bank accounts and they don't have to prove any kind of criminal activity on the part of the bank customer to do so.
It used to be that if a person wanted to open a bank account all you had to do was walk into the bank and say to a bank employee that you wanted to open up a bank account. All you had to have were a few dollars to initially put into it. You gave a minimum of very basic information and you had a new account on the spot.
Now you need to make an appointment at the bank to see if they will allow you to open a bank account, or apply on-line.
The applications online to open a bank account may be made to appear simple and not very time consuming but they demand that you agree that they have the right to know everything about your finances and your financial history.
Most expect upfront for you to give them your social insurance number. All expect for you to tell them the amount of any credit available to you and how much you owe on any of that credit, how much your income is, how you make that income and for how long, personal phone home phone/cell numbers and work number, where you live and for how long etc.....
But the real concerning thing are the 'terms of service'.....that you have to agree to in order for the bank account application to go through, that is the small print that you agree to in order to open a bank account.
In the small print of the terms of service.... when actually read all the way through (and how many people actually read through all that fine print) it is scary the amount of power the banks have when it comes to regular people's bank accounts. There in the small print...with your agreement, they can sell your personal banking information to any number of entities.
They can investigate you and your finances, they can share information about your personal finances with the government, the police, private interests/corporations etc..
They can freeze your bank account, cut off access to your own bank account and the money within it.. at any time (without you having done anything illegal).
And on and on the terms of service go......basically your own money that you deposit can very easily be taken from you at any time.
I do not see, after reading the fine print of the new bank account 'agreements', that people need to click (I agree) to, that people have any 'rights' whatsoever when it comes to their own income, chequing/savings accounts as well as credit information.
There are no real rights to privacy when it comes to personal banking accounts for the 'common' people.
You pretty near have to be a lawyer to truly understand all of the legalese that are in the 'terms of service' for bank accounts that strip away all of your privacy rights and monetary safety of your own money.
True there are a lot of charlatans, scammers and fraudsters who are ripping off people and using the banks to do it, but the banks are ONLY out to protect themselves, not the regular people who get ripped off by scammers.
Regular people who are honest are being forced to abide by bank rules that treat them as if they are all potential criminals.
Meanwhile the elite/ultra rich class are financially ripping the common people off to such an extent that it is sickening, by the millions, billions and trillions, through such things as 'charitable foundations', kick backs, hidden through off-shore accounts set up by corrupt accountants and lawyers and protected by corrupt banking systems.
So it is probably a good idea to keep cash at all times, until it is that cash no longer exists, then we are all truly screwed as far as the power the banks have over us and the control they have over our own money when it is deposited in a bank, let alone the lack of financial privacy and the threat they pose.
Little is really said about the threat the 'local' banks are posing to 'regular' people with all these bank rules that have stripped away any security for the people who are members of their banks.