Cheque clearance times 'baffle bank staff'
More than half of banking staff do not understand how long it takes for a cheque to clear, it was revealed today.
A mystery shopping exercise carried out by the Banking Code Standards Board found that only a third of bank and building society staff knew it took six days before consumers could be confident that a cheque paid into their account could not bounce.
The board said the results, which were worse than when a similar exercise was carried out in 2008, were "disappointing" and it called on the industry to make improvements.
Payments group APACS recently introduced a 'two, four, six', standard to help consumers understand how long cheques take to clear.
Under the rule, people begin to earn interest on a cheque two days after it has been deposited, while they can withdraw the money after four days and be confident that the cheque cannot bounce after six days.
But the research found that only 42 per cent of bank staff who dealt with customers knew that interest could be earned after two days, while just 50 per cent knew the money could be withdrawn after four days.
The biggest area of confusion concerned when a customer could be confident that the money was theirs, with only 33 per cent of bank staff knowing a cheque could not bounce after six days.
Overall, only three out of the 10 banks and nine building societies looked at were given green assessments, compared with 10 when the research was last carried out.
Nine of the providers received amber reports and eight were given red ones, up from seven in 2008.
Robert Skinner, chief executive of the Banking Code Standards Board, said: "It is clearly disappointing that, despite the concerns raised in our last report, we have found customer facing staff, in the majority of cases, unable to provide clear and accurate information to customers on the cheque clearing cycle.
"Our review did not indicate that large numbers of customers are being financially disadvantaged as a result but the industry clearly has work to do in improving the knowledge of front line staff."
He added that the board had made a number of recommendations to the industry and it would be monitoring the action plans produced by firms where shortcomings were identified.
But a review of how banks and building societies handled customer claims for refunds on unauthorised card transactions produced better results.
The board said its review of 11 current account and card providers found the majority of disputed transactions were refunded quickly and customers were not expected to produce unreasonable levels of proof to support their claim.
The Banking Codes are voluntary codes that set out good standards for banks and building societies.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought
Derek Pain: Hero-to-zero RSH may have done too much, too soon
A student's guide to financial survival: You don't have to drown in debt at university
10 tips for taking out a personal loan
Lenders accused of using gimmicks to entice borrowers
Ticking time bomb: Interest rate rises are coming, so start preparing now
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 4 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...
NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...
Day In a Page
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000