Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pay charges for corrections or alterations in anything on cheque leaving date

Now if you by mistake write wrong spelling such as ‘hundered’ instead of ‘hundred’ on a cheque and just strike off the additional ‘e’ and issue the cheque then you will have to pay return charges that are Rs100-250 for public sector banks and Rs350-550 for private banks. So issue fresh leaf.

Recently the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a circular to the banks that they should not accept cheques that have corrections or alterations in anything but the date. RBI is taking this measure in order to “help banks identify and control fraudulent alterations”. However banks have started informing customers about the policy change through mails.

S Govindan, general manager (personal banking and operations), Union Bank of India said, “It is consumer protection that the RBI is looking at. Many a times cheques are stolen and encashed by other parties by making corrections.”

He said such measure is important in changing scenario where the cheques are being dealt differently. “Earlier, banks used to tell people not to issue a bearer cheque and about some basic precautions. But now cheques get couriered. Also, they are deposited in drop boxes. So the possibility of them falling into the wrong hands is high.”

The RBI is trying to reduce and, if possible, eliminate transactions through cheques. A banker pointed out, “Now that daily interest rate calculation has come in, it works in your favour to keep money in your account for as long as possible. At least three days are wasted in the issuance of a cheque. Whereas net banking is instant”.

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