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...to be furious with the bank?

(30 Posts)
PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Wed 02-Dec-15 19:52:15

For the last couple of years, I've been the treasurer for a local committee. I have been a signatory each year with each new chair being added and the old one removed. This year I gave up the position, although remained in the committee, so both signatories changed.

I've been helping the new treasurer out a bit, because it's the first time she's been a treasurer and was a bit nervous about it, and obviously I knew how the account worked. Everything seemed fine, she was paying in money, signing cheques etc. Today she went in to order a new chequebook, with the slip signed by her and the chair - they wouldn't take it and said the signatures were wrong - after checking, they haven't been changed.

So if the bank won't allow them to get a new chequebook because the signatures are wrong, why the hell have they been allowing multiple cheques up to the value of a couple of thousand pounds to be drawn over the last six months!

Now they won't give her information about the account and are insisting they'll only talk to me and the previous chair. We are both still involved, so it's not a huge problem, but I don't like how we've been made to feel in the wrong when something's clearly gone very wrong at their end...

wasonthelist Wed 02-Dec-15 19:58:02

It is a bit annoying, but I found out some time ago that banks don't check the signatures on cheques any more. I don't think you will find one that does, but yanbu.

AnneEyhtMeyer Wed 02-Dec-15 19:59:30

Is this HSBC? They've just done exactly the same to a group I know. They also suddenly decided to bounce all of their cheques without warning.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Wed 02-Dec-15 20:10:13

I'm a bit worried about that too - there are a few cheques out at the moment that haven't been cashed yet, and now the bank 'know' if they decide to cancel them all it's going to be a nightmare to sort out...

I didn't know that wason - what's the point in even having a signature then! I know they're trying to phase cheques out, but for some things they're still really really useful.

The treasurer (T from now on!) is a bit upset - they confiscated the chequebook and said it would have to be given back to me... Fair enough, but they weren't this proactive when actual money was going from the account signed for by the 'wrong' people!

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Wed 02-Dec-15 20:12:35

HSBC wouldn't let us update our mandate because the Chair wasn't replying to letters. These were letters they were sending to her, with the address being the bank branch address [sigh]. Which weren't being forwarded on, or even them telling us about them.

We need to redo the mandate again, but we're all too scared.

BlueJug Wed 02-Dec-15 20:13:00

We had the same with Nat West. It took two years to change the signatories on an account. Two years!

Justaboy Wed 02-Dec-15 20:35:56

Don't get me started on Banker Wankers!! piles of dog doo all of them. Tried on-line banking instead of cheques?, they'll be going out if fashion in a whiles time. Haven't written one or had one in for ages all BACS and on-line nowadays.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Wed 02-Dec-15 20:40:24

Ha, not with a society account apparently - no online because you need two signatories and no BACS (for our security). Funnily enough they can manage CHAPS if we pay £25 a go...

AnneEyhtMeyer Wed 02-Dec-15 20:51:40

Cheques are definitely here to stay for a long time. Where I work cheques are constantly used and the PTA and school mean that I use loads too.

unlucky83 Wed 02-Dec-15 21:01:09

I was told years ago that they only ever do random signature checks on cheques. I was in the process of doing the same and asked should I get the previous signatories or the new ones to sign a cheque written as the change forms were submitted and was told it didn't really matter as there was little chance of it being checked shock
Reason I actually prefer internet banking - it is considered a bit dodgy as it then means you can make payments with only one signatory - but from a fraud pov if the treasurer was embezzling payments will appear on your statement as an account number - even with different fake account names the same bank details are more obvious than just a cheque number...
But we are aware if I did decide to embezzle we wouldn't be insured...but then I'm not going to and we do in theory have a safeguard in place ...
But this has been a nightmare for me - this will out me - but I do the accounts for 4 similar types of groups. I am the only person with full access to internet banking to make payments for all of them - as a safeguard we set another person up with just enough access to view the account, to do random checks to make sure the money wasn't disappearing. Except we can no longer do that - we can only have another telephone banking user ( again with only enough access to view)...
Trying to change this person has been a disaster. Letters that are supposed to be generated aren't being -this has gone on for over 18 months - on all 4 accounts - for one of them (other signatories change yearly) it has happened twice.
This is the Clydesdale and they do now finally believe me - they kept telling me the letters had definitely been sent out - maybe they had the address wrong, the person hadn't seen the letter etc - what for 5 people on 4 different accounts?????
I actually have an official complaint on the go about it ...and I have just had to do another change...
We did used to just be able to take in a form with ID -not necessarily go together etc - but now we do and have to make an appointment etc. But this has worked in that the actual signatories do appear to have been changed ...but then they have the right names for the telephone banking users - just they can't actually use telephone banking...
I think the banks need to get their act together for this kind of account anyway - a two step, two person internet banking verification process...

SummerNights1986 Wed 02-Dec-15 21:05:46

Cheques are definitely here to stay for a long time

Oof, they're really, really not. Banks are in the process of withdrawing cheques and eventually they will be gone from the main market completely. If you rely heavily on cheques, now would be a good time to try other methods of payment.

OP, banks won't check signatures on the majority of cheques under about £5k. Standard practice.

Regarding the mandate change, are you sure you actually completed a new mandate and submitted it? When did this happen? Phone the bank and tell them to find out why the change didn't go ahead.

unlucky83 Wed 02-Dec-15 21:17:17

Surely they can't get rid of cheques until they have a two tiered verification process working without needing both 'signatories at the same computer at the same time for every transaction? (With cheques one person can sign them at one time and another later...)
For the ones I do, small groups - we have agreed the risk, I take the responsibility etc but actually for larger places (eg schools) they couldn't do it...
I do keep meaning to look into it again as I did hear one of the high street banks might be doing this now ...but a year or so ago I was told they just didn't have the technical ability to do it....

Musicaltheatremum Wed 02-Dec-15 21:40:16

TSB the same. I became treasurer of a society this year and the Chairman and the secretary had never been added to the account 2 years earlier despite all the forms being signed. I had to get people removed and new ones added. Was a nightmare. We (I) wanted to do online banking but I would have to open a whole new account as ours was so old. I expressed shock that no cheques were checked for signatures.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Wed 02-Dec-15 21:46:37

Yes, we definitely did - it (should have!) happened in May. It was to take off the two old signatories and put on two new ones, they went in to the branch with their two forms of ID etc.

Yes, we're restricted to cheques, standing orders and withdrawing cash on our account (with both people actually in the branch to do those last two), because there's no capability for electronic double-verification.

SummerNights1986 Wed 02-Dec-15 21:53:59

Surely they can't get rid of cheques until they have a two tiered verification process working without needing both 'signatories at the same computer at the same time for every transaction?

Of course they can. A cheque is a very unsecure payment method (not to mention a PITA), which is why banks want rid.

A signature can be learned, practiced and copied. Easy peasy. Not much protection there at all. Direct payments (requiring a password on Internet banking in many cases) are 100 times more secure.

unlucky83 Wed 02-Dec-15 22:29:12

But Summer what about these accounts which require two signatures on a cheq - I said I agree that internet banking is more secure and less open to abuse in many ways -
But as the sole authorised internet banking user I could empty an account and noone would know for at least a month ...if not longer ...
for one of them I could be £40k richer and living in Brazil by the time anyone knew...and if the bank got suspicious they would phone or write to ME at my address...
And these groups wouldn't be insured cos you need two signatories to authorise payments on these accounts to be insured. That is very definitely true for girl guiding UK and the PTA umbrella body in Scotland ....
I also know the school need two signatures on certain cheqs (long story the PTA had to loan the school money for something because of abnormal circumstances meant there was only one signatory available...) and in that case we are talking much larger sums...
Until you get internet banking that allows two step verification by two people at a time that suits them - so a method as convenient as signing cheques...you can't get rid of cheques...

AnneEyhtMeyer Wed 02-Dec-15 22:31:07

SummerNights - seriously, cheques are going nowhere.

I was stunned when I discovered how many are still used. You only have to go down the society route to see it. I work for a huge national organisation and 99% of payments in are by cheque and 100% out are by cheque.

thiskiwicanfly Wed 02-Dec-15 22:34:56

Feeling quite smug about little old New Zealand now. I'm the manager of a fairly large business and the bank account requires two signatories - but we mostly use online banking and other than tax payments I can authorise payments from my desk and have one of the other signatories provide the second authorisation at any time that same calendar day. Tax is the only transaction that requires us to be on the same computer at the same time... We can even authorise the payments from our smartphones!

If we can do it surely the big banks in the UK can manage it...

RhinestoneCowgirl Wed 02-Dec-15 22:41:43

I'm chair of a small local charity and we recently had a complete nightmare with Lloyds trying to update the mandate (I have new Treasurer too). They lost the paperwork twice, it took months to sort it out and it was completely Kafkaesque. They paid us compensation in the end (it's worth making a formal complaint). But that didnt really make up for the hours of volunteers time.

I would also be nervous of the sole person in control of internet banking. Recently a small charity local to me had its bank account emptied by their senior staff member. She blew it in a couple of days on internet gaming sites.

RhinestoneCowgirl Wed 02-Dec-15 22:43:13

So it's possible in NZ Polkadots!

ceeveebee Wed 02-Dec-15 22:50:12

Surely they can't get rid of cheques until they have a two tiered verification process working without needing both 'signatories at the same computer at the same time for every transaction?

If you have a business bank account then the bank line system is set up in line with the mandate - so one person will enter the payments, then another will approve it, and if over a certain amount will require second approval. All done with clever gadgets that generate a unique approval code that you have to enter - it's been that way for at least 10 years.

Cheques were supposed to be abolished by 2018 but that was cancelled under last government and latest thoughts are that we have at least 10 years before they are phased out

RhinestoneCowgirl Wed 02-Dec-15 22:57:00

I think that's the problem ceeveebee. We don't have a business account, instead a special 'clubs and societies' account. We are very small (income under 20k a yr)

AlmaMartyr Wed 02-Dec-15 23:06:26

Organisations like parish councils have only been legally able to pay electronically for the last year or so. Some banks don't offer the full dual authorisation that is legally required.

I'm a RFO and we use nothing but cheques, although I am looking into making some payments electronically if allowed. We'll still be making some (most?) payments by cheque though because of transaction fees. A lot of smaller authorities will be the same. That's a lot of cheques right there. In my small town, most after school clubs and things don't accept online payment. I'm sure they could if they wished but they don't. So I use cheques a lot.

YANBU OP - it took ages to get our last mandate sorted with so many errors on the way. I complained and got a refund though.

AgeOfAquarius Wed 02-Dec-15 23:12:52

I am treasurer for a small charity and we have an internet banking account with the Charities Aid Foundation Bank (CAF Bank). They offer banking services for charities including dual authorisation for online payments. Cash and cheques can be paid in at HSBC branches. There are no charges unless you pay in more than 50 cheques or a certain amount of cash per month (can't quite remember but it is in the 1000s). Definitely worth looking into. Setting up the account was quite easy as well.

Justaboy Wed 02-Dec-15 23:13:16

Cheques are a real nuisance their like train "tickets" something that the railways should have done away with years ago like the Airlines have and that works very well for them.

The banks can do the same why ever do they need to shunt scraps of paper around its just that there're familiar that people still like them. There is no reason why a viable cross checking system can't be done for dual signatories and all that either.

I'm glad to see the back of them:-)

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