|Life Imitates Seinfeld at UBS|
|Written by Tim Ullrich|
|Wednesday, 07 November 2007 14:47|
We recently closed an account at UBS and were mailed a check for the remaining cash balance – a whopping 63 cents! Looking at this check gave us a little bit of a chuckle, as it reminded us of an episode of Seinfeld, in which Jerry’s hand started to cramp up from signing so many royalty checks – each for around 12 cents. There doesn’t seem to be much of a point in mailing us this check. It probably cost UBS more to produce and mail this check than it is actually worth. It is also noted that the check must be cashed within 180 days – or else, of course, we run the risk of foregoing our 63 cents.
It is very likely that this is not an isolated incident. Indeed, over the years, we’ve closed numerous accounts and have received checks like this (though we still couldn’t buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks with the total). Collectively, with millions of accounts at firms, these small checks could add up to real money. While firms cannot simply pocket this money, why not pool it and do some good? Tell clients when they open an account that upon severing the agreement, any amount less than, say, $5 will be donated to charity. It is likely that most people would rather see this than have to endorse a 63 cent check.