The days of chain mail armour are long behind us. With virtually every call we make comes the request: “Please send us an e-mail!”. After four weeks of calling and emailing we have received very few replies. Sometimes the e-mails are acknowledged only with an automatic reply, other times they just disappear into the void, only traceable through the ever-increasing list of outgoing messages in our “sent” box. An e-mail from BaFin said:
“We will endeavour to provide you with an answer as soon as possible. However, this may take some time. Please note that we may not be able to answer your questions for legal reasons or due to resource limitations. Thank you for your understanding. Please be assured that you will receive a response from us.”
We do not understand that. How can we be assured when the qualifying statement is that they may not be able to answer? Of course though, we must make allowances for the very strapped budget and small staff which constitutes the institution of BAFIN!
With 12 e-mails to the ECB and dozens of follow-up calls, we have still had no answers. We have been assured that someone is dealing with them. So it seems that all we can do is wait. We cannot accuse them of refusing to reply, and yet we have not had satisfying answers to our questions. We find ourselves backed into a limbo state whereby the institutions are able, technically, to say that they are cooperating, however their definition of cooperation seems to differ vastly from ours. The bureaucratic procedures are carefully constructed as a semi-permeable armour which keeps the people out, the answers in, and a meaningless flow of auto-replies somewhere in between.