RBI DIRECTION ON CHEQUE RETURN CHARGES – Levy Cheque return charges only if customer is at fault

DPSS.CO.CHD.No. 2030/03.06.01/2012-2013

May 7, 2013

The Chairman and Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer
All Scheduled Commercial Banks including RRBs /Local Area Banks
Urban Co-operative Banks / State Co-operative Banks /
District Central Co-operative Banks

Madam / Dear Sir,

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