Bank cheques can bounce, broker discovers
Mortgage bankers Cairns Lockie has been annoyed to discover the banks are slowing its business down by insisting on treating bank cheques the same way they treat any old cheque, requiring a five-day clearing period before releasing the funds.
Wednesday, September 5th 2001, 3:48PM
by Jenny Ruth
It has discovered the banks have tightened up on bank cheques, which are practically always used to setting housing transactions, because of a considerable increase in fraud. The banks will still clear a bank cheque immediately, but only if the customer agrees to pay a special clearance fee.
And those who think bank cheques are as good as cash and can’t bounce, think again. Cairns Lockie was shocked to discover this and thinks the public should be warned.
"The general public thinks bank cheques are totally safe, but if you sell your car for one, that cheque could bounce," says Cairns Lockie principal William Cairns. "If I was selling a car now to a private person I would be insisting on cash."
The banks’ attitude is also annoying for the business.
"It slows down transactions. If someone comes in and gives us a bank cheque to make a mortgage reduction we have to wait five days. With our contributory mortgage company it means we’ve got to have the money sitting in our account for five days or pay $25 for a special answer," Cairns says.
His firm believes the banks’ attitude is unacceptable. "The banks should be devising ways to protect themselves from fraud, which do not inconvenience the poor bank customer."
If a bank cheque isn‘t as good as cash,
why are people paying for them, the firm asks.
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