How can this take so long today

  davecartman 08:36 10 Oct 2018

My wife banked a cheque from from a Canadian bank and in Canadian dollars on 6th of August at our local branch ( in England ). As we are now in the tenth week and no money has appeared in the account we rang rang to ask why. Needless to say the person we spoke to did not know why but agreed that it was strange but could not tell us where the money was.He passed us to international banking and after being put on hold several times the person there admitted they also had no idea where the money was but sent an urgent email to our local branch asking them to ring us immediately to sort it out. We stayed in all day and nobody rang. As the banks obviously don't know why this should take so long does anyone out there know ?

  BT 09:01 10 Oct 2018

Seems a very long time to have to wait. Not having ever banked foreign cheques I don't know the timescale.

Now that my local Bank has closed and the nearest bank is several miles away I now use the Post Office Cheque Deposit service which seems most efficient. You get the appropriate envelope from the Post Office (or your Bank. I called Telephone Banking and got a pack of 20) fill out a deposit slip and enclose it all, then just hand it in at the Post Office. They give you a receipt and it appears on your statement in a couple of days.

  BT 09:05 10 Oct 2018

Just had a bit of a Google and it seems it can take at least 4 - 6 weeks to clear a foreign cheque.

  davecartman 09:33 10 Oct 2018

BT We have had Canadian cheques before but made out in £ sterling and they were credited in a few days. I cannot see why it being in dollars takes so long in these days of instant communication. The main problem at the moment is that no one seems to be able to say what stage the transaction is at. 4-6 weeks seems to be the norm but having got to 10 weeks you can see why we are concerned. By the way our local bank is also closed.

  Forum Editor 16:17 10 Oct 2018

Ten weeks is an abnormally long period to wait, and in your shoes I would be contacting the paying bank to see what the problem is - either that, or I would ask the payer to exert some pressure.

In passing, are you aware that such cheques are normally cleared 'with recourse' which means that if fraud or money laundering is suspected you can be asked to repay the money up to 7 years later?

If you often get money from Canada, it might be better to ask the payer to transfer funds via the BACS system.

  davecartman 15:27 30 Oct 2018

Just an update, now in the 13th week, after more fruitless phone calls the bank (NatWest) is now treating this as a complaint. Got an email this morning confirming this, apologizing that thing have taken so long and they hope my complaint should be dealt with within 5 weeks. Watch this space.

  Forum Editor 17:01 30 Oct 2018

"my complaint should be dealt with within 5 weeks."

I can see no reason why it should take that long to resolve a pretty straightforward matter like this, especially as you have already waited three months.

Banks spend a lot of money advertising themselves as friendly and cooperative, and then ruin it all with something like this. We are living in the 21st century, but I often wonder if some banks haven't quite realised that.

As part of a regulatory requirement, an independent survey was recently conducted to ask customers of the largest 16 personal current account providers if they would recommend their provider to friends or family.

NatWest came 9th for overall customer service, 9th for online and mobile banking, and 10th for overdraft services. The bank was ranked 12th for service in branches.

When a service business is inefficient, the blame can always be laid at the door of senior management. Employees need to be well trained and motivated before they will deliver a customer service policy, and of course there needs to be a deliverable policy in the first place.

The two best overall performers were First Direct and MetroBank.

  davecartman 13:21 09 Nov 2018

End of 14th week now, no further forward. Earlier this week I took it on myself to make my own inquiries. A short email to the law firm in Canada who sent the cheque, ( an inheritance ) resulted the same working day in the confirmation that the money had cleared their bank on 29th August, ten weeks ago. More phone calls to NatWest who were very surprised at this but again could not say where the money is. Has anyone on this forum found to their joy that a large sum of money has suddenly appeared in their bank account? I am beginning to think that NatWest are not just inefficient but have in fact lost the money.

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