The Harry Potter universe is filled with magical places and moments that are quite memorable. One of these moments is the first time that Harry goes to Diagon Alley. During this visit, he goes into Gringotts Bank for the first time. This imposing bank is filled with piles of gold coins as well as a lot of mystery.
While it might create an imposing and fantastical atmosphere, there are many ways in which Gringotts just doesn’t make a lot of practical sense as a banking system. Here are the ten things about Gringotts that don’t make any sense and wouldn’t really work.
9 THAT THERE’S ONLY ONE BANKING BRANCH
For Muggles, most banks are easily accessible as they have more than once branch. This means that you can access your money fairly easily as there are multiple locations. In the wizarding world, at least in Great Britain, this isn’t the case.
Gringotts seems to be the only wizarding bank available which means that all the witches and wizards have to visit Diagon Alley to get their money. This doesn't seem like the most efficient system.
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry visits vault 713 with Hagrid. This high-security vault needs a Gringotts goblin to open it. It’s also mentioned that if anyone else touched the door they would be sucked into the vault and trapped.
And, they only check the vault for thieves once every ten years. This seems quite barbaric and rather cruel. While thievery is obviously bad, letting someone die seems like quite the extreme reaction.
8 THAT YOU HAVE TO HAVE A KEY TO GET INTO YOUR VAULT
Security at Gringotts seems to range depending on the contents of the vault. For the average person, they will have a key to get in. This poses a lot of issues. First of all, if you were to lose your key it seems like you might have a really hard time even getting your money, and this would also allow other people to access your money.
On top of this, allowing the goblins access to most of the vaults seems like it could lead to a security breach.
7 THE FACT ONLY GOBLINS WORK THERE
This is another strange fact about Gringotts that doesn’t make a lot of sense. It definitely makes the goblins seem very one-sided and like they only care about money. On top of this, it seems strange that no other humans or humanoid creatures are allowed to have any say in how the banking system or money system is handled.
It seems like anyone who uses the money should have a say in how it is controlled and governed.
6 USING ONLY COINS AS CURRENCY
This is one of the main things that is extremely confusing about Gringotts. While the wizarding world might not use much wizarding technology, it seems very weird that they wouldn’t at least use paper bills.
Instead, they only have coins as money. This would make carrying money around and exchanging money quite a pain. This would especially be the case for large transactions. It seems like there should be a better system in place.
5 THE MONEY SYSTEM IS WEIRD
While using coins as the only form of currency is strange enough, one other interesting and impractical aspect of Harry Potter money is how much each coin is valued at. There are three coins: knuts, sickles, and galleons. The conversion rate for these coins is quite weird and confusing.
One sickle is equal to 29 knuts while one gallon is equal to 493 knuts. This is pretty confusing and hard to keep track of, and there isn't a lot of explanation about how much things are actually worth.
4 NO WAY TO GET LOANS
One of the main functions of banks in the Muggle world is providing loans. This is necessary for big purchases such as business loans and home loans. However, in the wizarding world, there is no indication that loans exist from the bank.
While they might exist, it’s not really discussed. If they don’t offer loans this seems like it would be nearly impossible for the average witch or wizard to acquire important purchases like a home.
3 THERE ARE NO CREDIT CARDS
This is another example of how inconvenient Gringotts and the money system in Harry Potter actually is. There is absolutely no way to spend money without having physical coins. While Muggles use things like credit cards and checks to make transferring funds simpler and more convenient, no such thing exists in Harry’s world.
This would mean that you can never access your money remotely and always have to make sure you go to the bank to stock up on coins.
2 THE ENTIRE BANK SEEMS RATHER SINISTER
There is something quite off about the entire feel and vibe of Gringotts. Instead of just being a place where the money is held and stored, it seems rather intense. The strange methods of security and the threats of what will happen to thieves are quite over the top.
While this might make for an exciting setting in a book, in all reality it would be weird to have such a scary place be your normal banking experience.
1 THE FACT THEY HAVE DRAGONS
This is one of the strangest and saddest things about Gringotts. Having a security system that is dependent on animals seems pretty outdated and unnecessary. It’s also quite cruel. The dragons that are held in Gringotts are abused and kept captive.
While a dragon might be an effective and ferocious way to keep people out of a vault, there could be less complicated methods that don’t involve tying up a powerful creature. Also, the animal cruelty aspect is hard to handle and is really sinister.