THE EDITOR: Yesterday I tried to cash a cheque issued to me by a Royal Bank client. After standing in line for 25 minutes I was seen by a teller. I presented the cheque together with two photo IDs. I was told that Royal Bank does not cash cheques for non-account holders. The teller further explained that there was a sign outside that so instructed, as well as it being on the bank’s web site.
Firstly, if I saw the sign I would not have been in the line. Secondly, I would not see it on the web site because I am not a client and therefore have no reason to visit the web site.
I am certain Royal Bank has a specimen of the account holder’s signature as well as a telephone number so it can verify the validity of the cheque.
A cheque issued by a client is an instruction from the client for the bank to make good the client’s request. If the payee is in need of the funds immediately then this bank is telling it’s client to come on down him/herself and get the cash because it is not doing it.
Furthermore, for argument’s sake, what if the payee has no account. Does that mean the client’s legal tender is no longer legal and the payee has no hope of getting paid?
I have no idea who at Royal Bank came up with this rule but it is the most nonsensical thing I have ever come across. In my youth I worked at CIBC. Both here and in Canada. This is no way to entice clients. I for one would not consider opening an account there after learning what I did.