It's a bit weird living in an economy undergoing a recession. I mean, in my position nothing much has changed. I still travel about, often using the train (even if it is terribly overpriced), I like to indulge in take-away every so often (mmm, Chinese...), I like to go to the cinema, DVDs are still stupidly cheap and Dad felt able to afford another HD screen. So while it doesn't affect me much, I am feeling the effects of the Bank of England constantly slashing interest rates in the vain hope of getting people spending. Well gee, if you want people spending, keep the interest rates at a decent level so that the most thrifty feel they're being rewarded. Interest is always one thing I enjoyed about having a bank account. Childish, I know, but I like looking at my bank statement and seeing a number of pounds added once a month. Now it's £1 if that, I don't think I'll dare look at my next interest payment.
Although my balance is now significantly lower simply because I needed to transfer a large amount to my German account. I've found that the best way to do so is to transfer an amount to Paypal from my English account, then wire it through Paypal to the German account. Actually it's not that simple. An account with Paypal does not like to be told to transfer money into any bank account apart from the one that the Paypal account is linked to, but it's more than happy to bounce money into any other Paypal account. So first I opened an account with paypal.co.uk, I selected the account to always use as the fund-provider (my student account, naturally) and I had to verify the account by looking at my statement and saying the 2 amounts that Paypal had deposited into my account (always a small amount of pence, never more than 20 it seems). When I later found out the snag that Paypal never transfers money into a foreign account, Dad told me to do what he's done: open an account with paypal.de. So I chose my German account with Postbank and again had to verify it by confirming the 2 small deposits in cents made by Paypal. Once everything was set up, I was very happy to find that despite the drastic devaluation of the pound, I could squeeze €1130 out of £1050 and there were no taxes or fees involved.
Now altogether, I have 4 different bank accounts and God knows how many email addresses. I had a fleeting mental debate over if it was possible to scam Paypal into giving me a sizeable amount of money by simply opening and closing Paypal accounts again and again in different languages, with different email addresses and alternating between the 3 bank accounts I have that can be accessed through the net (that's right, 1 bank account I have is the old-fashioned type with NS&I that only has the book and paper records; my parents opened one each for my brother and I when we were babies, but Nathan closed his once he found an online savings account with a massive interest rate and learned how little interest he got in his grey book). The key drawback is how little is deposited each time, and while the process isn't complicated, it takes a while, thus putting off anyone thinking about doing a scam like this. Also, considering that I would have to do this about 25 times a month to make it even profitable and I'd need to fill in sensitive contact information each time (like postal address and phone number) I'm quite certain someone would notice this and I'll find myself wrangling the complicated legal system made even more complicated by the fact I'd have committed fraud on an international level. That would certainly make the news but I have no desire to be that fool.