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About dstanners

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  1. Which Bank would you recommend

    This reminds me how about 15 years ago my (German) wife tried to open an account with HSBC in Hammersmith, London. The guy at the desk suddenly downed tools and said: "I'm sorry, I cannot open an account for you." My wife was somewhat surprised and asked why, and received the answer: "because you lied when you told me that you were German. Your passport does not state German, in fact it clearly says you are Dutch"! He didn't understand when my wife tried to explain that in Germany they call themselves "Deutsch" rather than "German". This happened at about the same time as HSBC launched its adverts on being the "world's bank" which "speaks your language".  
  2. Which Bank would you recommend

    Perhaps it's just me or my bank, but from my experience Volksbank are absolutely bl00dy brilliant, and way better than their UK counterparts. They have actual people, and telephone lines manned by human beings in your local branch. I was able to open my first account there before I had even been to the Einwohnermeldeamt. I have online banking and it even shows me my account manager's direct telephone line. If she's not in the office, it goes through to someone in the same branch, who takes a message and I get called back by my bank manager...the same day! Never known anything like that level of service in the UK. Obviously, I could list the usual gripes about needing to ueberweis bl00dy everything, and the need to recall an IBAN and all of that sort of stuff, but once you can accept it, it's all good. I heartily recommend (and am not employed by!) Volksbank (ex. Raiffeisen).
  3. Brexit: The fallout

    I believe that after the initial impact and filling with water, the Titanic slipped "smoothly" to the sea bed as well. That must have been a relief for all those aboard.
  4. Brexit: The fallout

    Thanks @LeCheese. For some reason though, I had hoped it might provide some clarity. My heart sank as soon as the second sentence started: "If approved by Parliament..."  I take the point that the UK government can't unilaterally determine the fate of UK citizens in the EU, but their suggestion that this policy paper might cover just those rights seems particularly unhelpful.
  5. Well, it depends upon what you mean by "similar" to bitter. In terms of brewing, the obvious places to start are Cologne and Dusseldorf as both Koelsch and Alt respectively are, like bitter, top fermenting. If you didn't know different, most people would probably wrongly guess that most sorts of Koelsch were "lager", insofar as the hops used and light flavour are closer to that style of beer. There is one Koelsch sort which reminds me of an IPA, which is Hellers, but it isn't sold in that many places. By contrast, Alt even looks like bitter. Frankenheim Alt is a pretty decent version. There are also small German breweries which specifically brew US/UK style beers, but as this is for UK drinkers, but why would you take British-style beer back to Britain? Of course, that leads to the other obvious question, why the hell don't you just take good German beers (or at least the best ones from your area)?    
  6. What made you smile today?

    In that case, I'd have been more concerned with the second sentence. Her poor boyfriend.
  7. Gift for assistant to Notary

    Your Germans aren't too fussed with cards, flowers are your friend.
  8. Current laws regarding unused holiday entitlement

    @DaveG further to my summary above, I've also received a copy of an English summary by the UK firm Gowling (fortunately, it reaches the same conclusion!): HOLIDAY LEAVE: USE IT OR LOSE IT? In Kreuziger v Land Berlin and Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Wissenschaften eV v Shimizu the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) considered two German referencesrelating to the right to a payment in lieu of accrued but untaken annual leave under the Working Time Directive (WTD). The CJEU has held that a worker who does not apply for paid annual leave during employment does not automatically lose the right to an allowance in lieu of untaken leave on termination. The worker must have been given an opportunity to take that leave. While employers are not required to force workers to actually exercise their right to take paid annual leave, it is for the employer to show that it encouraged the worker to do so, while informing them, accurately and in good time, of the risk of losing that leave at the end of the applicable reference period. In other words, workers do not automatically lose accrued but untaken annual leave entitlement on termination, or at the end of the relevant reference period, on the basis that the worker failed to seek to exercise their right to annual leave unless the employer could show that it had enabled the worker to exercise their entitlement, particularly through the provision of sufficient information.
  9. Current laws regarding unused holiday entitlement

    @DaveG. Your question is well timed, as it has been dealt with by the ECJ just ten days ago (in two cases). That said, you may not find the answer as helpful as you want. In brief, I would summarise the cases as: you do NOT lose your right to untaken leave at the end of your holiday period BUT if your employer can demonstrate that they allowed you to take time off during the holiday year (for example, they can show that you were provided with proper information as to how and when to take time off), then they can justify refusing the carry over.  That's just my summary though, so you should make your own decision: Here's a link to the ECJ website with the relevant cases for you (or for you to speak with a lawyer):  https://eur-lex.europa.eu/search.html?qid=1543659749463&RJ_NEW_2_CODED=4.14&RJ_NEW_1_CODED=4&type=named&name=browse-by:new-case-law  
  10. Why are you happy today?

    In the UK they were supported by Anthrax, not sure if they are touring together though. Enjoy.
  11. German equivalents of a UK ISA

    Thanks @swimmer. I was wondering whether we can just close the account, transfer the money to Germany (albeit taking a tax and exchange rate hit) and say to Volksbank - here's some money for a savings account...possibly too simple? I've heard lots of talk about ETFs, which I think it probably the most similar to the stocks/share funds in which her ISA was invested. Does anyone know a particular provider of ETFs, or is the bank the simplest way to go? I appreciate these are pretty basic questions, but as you said, we're unlikely to be the first or last people to move here from the UK with ISAs, so I'll give an update once it's all done (including what the German accountant reckons we need to do from a tax perspective).   
  12. German equivalents of a UK ISA

    After reading this thread and a couple of similar ones, it is clear that the best thing to have done would have been to have cashed out my wife's ISA prior to moving. That didn't happen.  As we have no intention of going back to England (famous last words of course), she is now looking to close the ISA account and move the sum over here (about GBP 50k, so not a fortune, but not small beer either). I can already tell I'm going to have to spend even more time with my German accountant dealing with the capital gain etc (as well as explain quite how we completely forgot about the ISA), but what I'd really like to know is what other folk from the UK have done with any ISA pots they had accumulated / how did you move it etc? 
  13. Liable for breaking a friends glasses?

    Finally, someone asks the key question! I managed a 40 year break between standing barefoot on Lego. The first time I stood on Lego after the break, even without seeing the offending item, straight away I knew what it was: the corner of one of those two-er bricks going into the flashy bit of my foot was instantly recognisable. 
  14. Brexit: The fallout

    That was scheduled yesterday though, so it could well be meaningless. I don't know if you've heard the latest from that c0ck Gove? He's saying he "might" take the Brexit role if he can renegotiate, but he might also resign from cabinet. A real man of principle.
  15. Brexit: The fallout

    I quite like this description of Raab and his fellow Brexiter-resigners: it is easier to be on the team that accuses the prime minister of failing to deliver majestic herds of unicorns than it is to be stuck with a portfolio that requires expertise in unicorn-breeding   taken from: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/15/brexit-wreckers-slink-away-dominic-raab-esther-mcvey