Friday, September 21, 2007

Maybe a Banker Could Explain This to Me?

Perhaps it is because I don't understand the world of high (or low, for that matter) finance, but Bank of America does something that I don't understand: The tellers refuse to cash or deposit any third-party checks (the kind that are written to someone else, that someone else signs it over to me, and we both sign the back of the check). Yet, if I leave the bank, go outside to their ATM machine and deposit the same check, Bank of America accepts it, credits it to my account and doesn't give me any grief.

My 22 year old daughter doesn't have a local bank account so, for the time being, she signs her checks over to me. I write her a check on my account (which B of A will cash for her) and then I deposit the "third party" check.

Today, I was conducting a number of financial transactions at Bank of America, and momentarily forgot the teller wouldn't take the third party check. Sure enough, he wouldn't even though I pointed out that they did accept them through the ATM.

He shrugged.

So I completed the other transactions, walked over to their ATM and deposited the third party check.

It's not that much trouble to do, but tell me again how this makes any sense?

4 comments:

MEG said...

Not every bank refuses to accept third-party checks. My Compass bank accepts those types of checks, and the bank at which I work (a non-national chain) accepts them as well. Perhaps the mega-banks have decided not to do this anymore in order to prevent some degree of fraud--since the tellers rarely know their customers and criminals might target mega-banks for those types of crimes...

I'm Grace. said...

I get why they might not want to accept third party checks, but then, why don't they send back the ones I put through the ATM and refuse to credit them?

It's the inconsistency that makes me nuts.

Anonymous said...

it doesn't make sense as far as i can tell. i work at a bank and we'll deposit your third party check into your account with both signatures at the teller counter. in fact if you do it at the atm we find that suspicious because we don't know if that other person really signed it... who knows what BoA is doing...

there's probably a loophole somewhere. their atms are giving you provisional credit automatically and in the back office where they collect on the checks they aren't checking to see if the signatures match the account. That's my guess...

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