No Cheque Return Charges to be levied if no Fault of Customer: RBI

No Cheque Return Charges Where No Customer Fault

Reserve bank of India penned down an important point, that if the customer is not in fault then bank can’t levy charges of cheque return. The cheque may be return due to several other reasons other than insufficient funds, due date and mismatch of signature.

RBI issued a full notification instructing banks not to levy charges where customers are not at fault. Full note is as under.

Delay in re-presentation of technical return cheques and levy of charges for such returns

As you are aware, banks are expected to indicate the timeline for realisation of local/outstation cheques in their Cheque Collection policy(CCP) and charges for cheque returns to be levied in an upfront manner with due prior notice to the customers as enumerated in RBI circulars no. DPSS.CO. (CHD) No. 873 / 03.09.01 / 2008-09 dated November 24, 2008 and DBOD.No.Dir.BC. 56 /13.03.00/2006-2007 dated February 2, 2007 respectively.

2. However,recently, instances have been brought to our notice where banks are (i) levying cheque return charges even in cases where customers have not been at fault in the return and (ii) delaying the re-presentation of the cheques which had been returned by the paying banksunder technical reasons. Both of these issues result in unsatisfactory customer service.

3. It is, therefore, considered necessary to streamline the procedure followed by all banks in this regard. Accordingly, banks are advised to adhere to the following instructions with immediate effect:

  1. Cheque return charges shall be levied only in cases where the customer is at fault and is responsible for such returns. The illustrative,but not exhaustive, list of returns, where the customers are not at fault are indicated in the annex.
  2. Cheques that need to be re-presented without any recourse to the payee, shall be made in the immediate next presentation clearing not later than 24 hours(excluding holidays) with due notification to the customers of such re-presentation through SMS alert, email etc.

4. Banks are accordingly advised to reframe their CCPs to include the procedures indicated in paragraph 3(i) and 3(ii) above, and may note to give publicity to their revised CCPs for better customer service and dissemination of information.

5. The above instructions are issued under Section 18 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007).

6. Please acknowledge receipt and confirm compliance.

Yours faithfully,

(Vijay Chugh)
Chief General Manager


Annex

Illustrative but not exhaustive list of objections where customers are not at fault

(Applicable for Instrument and Image-based Cheque Clearing as detailed in Annexure D to Uniform Regulations and Rules for Bankers’ Clearing Houses)

Code No.

Reason for Return

33

Instrument mutilated; requires bank’s guarantee

35

Clearing House stamp / date required

36

Wrongly delivered / not drawn on us

37

Present in proper zone

38

Instrument contains extraneous matter

39

Image not clear; present again with paper

40

Present with document

41

Item listed twice

42

Paper not received

60

Crossed to two banks

61

Crossing stamp not cancelled

62

Clearing stamp not cancelled

63

Instrument specially crossed to another bank

67

Payee’s endorsement irregular / requires collecting bank’s confirmation

68

Endorsement by mark / thumb impression requires attestation by Magistrate with seal

70

Advice not received

71

Amount / Name differs on advice

72

Drawee bank’s fund with sponsor bank insufficient(applicable to sub-members)

73

Payee’s separate discharge to bank required

74

Not payable till 1st proximo

75

Pay order requires counter signature

76

Required information not legible / correct

80

Bank’s certificate ambiguous / incomplete / required

81

Draft lost by issuing office; confirmation required from issuing office

82

Bank / Branch blocked

83

Digital Certificate validation failure

84

Other reasons-connectivity failure

87

‘Payee’s a/c Credited’ – Stamp required

92

Bank excluded

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