Cheque clearance times?

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TOMGALV | 14:22 Thu 01st May 2008 | Business & Finance
8 Answers
family member paid a cheque into my account (from a building society) on Tuesday and it registered as going straight in there, however I was of the understanding that it would take at least 3 working days to clear, can anyone help me as I do not have telephone banking, and if anyone know exactly how long does it take till you can spend money receioved via cheque


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If you pay a cheque into your account it gets added to your account balance. But it is not added to your "cleared balance" until it clears. These are two different balances but you don't normally get to see the cleared balance.

If a cheque bounces there will be a debit entry reversing the credit entry made when the cheque was paid in.
The building society will 'post' the amount of the cheque to your account the day it is paid in. But the funds will not be available for several days. The "clearance" time varies these days from bank to bank and building society to building society. The norm used to be 3 days for banks with an extra day for "late returns". Building societies can take 10 days or more as many use the services of a clearing bank for this purpose. Phone your building society for an accurate answer.
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Cheers guys
the Abbey is not even a proper bank,

items take ages to clear,

and if you are ever unfortunate to have to queue in a branch for teller service, well.... better take refreshments!

in a proper (clearing) bank you pay in and tap tap tap on the computer and its job seconds,

in the Abbey they fill out this bit of paper and that, sign here and so on...

i queued for 45 minutes the other day (there were about ten people in front of me and threee positions open) and asked for �1,000 cash out of an account...

have you ordered it?

i thought this was a bank?

i made life easier for them and closed the account.
If it was paid in on Tuesday before the bank's advertised cut-off time, it is guaranteed to be cleared by Friday of next week, which is six working days after it was paid in (remember Monday is a Bank Holiday).

If you paid it into a current account, you will be able to draw on the cheque by Wednesday of next week at the latest. Your bank may allow you to withdraw the funds earlier, but by the fourth working day, they are obliged to allow you to draw on the cheque, even though it could still bounce (as long as it was paid into a current account - for savings accounts, you may have to wait the full six working days before being able to withdraw the money).

These timescales apply to all UK banks and building societies, and it doesn't matter that the cheque was drawn on a building society account. From November of last year, unless you are a knowing party to fraud, you can be certain that a cheque has cleared by the end of the sixth working day after it was paid in.
a point to note is that a cheque may 'clear' and if it is then subsequently found to be fraudulent the bank will debit your account with the value of the cheque. The funds represented by the cheque only become truly yours when the cheque is 'good for value'
moomintroll - that is only if your bank is a clearing bank (eg NatWest, Barclays) if it is a non-clearing bank then it will take longer as they have to pay all the cheques into a clearing bank!
north star - the phrase you used is incorrect ("given value" not "good for value") and does not describe the final stage of the clearing process; that is termed "cleared for fate".

Since November 2007 the 2-4-6 system ensures all subscribers to the Banking Code must clear for fate cheques by end of the 6th working day. At this point the value cannot be reclaimed without the account holder's consent. The continuing proviso is that clearing for fate is not a bar against reclaiming the funds where the payee is a knowing party to a fraud.

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