Bank staff shaky on cheque clearance cycle
by Gill Montia
Story link: Bank staff shaky on cheque clearance cycle
The Banking Code Standards Board (BCSB) has recently completed two “themed reviews” of compliance by the banks, building societies and card providers that subscribe its codes.
In one of the reviews the Board embarked on a mystery shopping exercise to test the ability of bank and building society staff to explain cheque clearing timescales to customers.
The results were disappointing and worse than in a similar exercise undertaken in 2008.
Of 274 assessments, less than half produced correct answers, with the main area of confusion over the timing for “certainty of fate” i.e. the point at which a customer can be certain that a cheque will not bounce.
The Board also looked at how subscribers handle claims for refunds on unauthorised online and card transactions and found the result of the study to be “good”.
Commenting on the findings BCSB chief executive, Robert Skinner, said: “The results of the review of unauthorised transactions … demonstrate good compliance with the Code. However, 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.
He adds: “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.”
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