Authority to crack down on bounced cheque culprits


21-June-2012

This comes amid concerns over the growing number of cheques being returned for lack of sufficient funds in the account.

Effective August 1, 2012, such cheques will result in a minimum charge of R500 per cheque.
Accounts of customers in which cheques are being returned for lack of sufficient funds will be closely monitored and cautionary notes will be issued to the concerned parties accordingly.

In case of repeated instances of bounced cheques, customers’ cheque books could be recalled and their accounts closed.

Details of customer accounts closed due to returned cheques will be submitted to the CBS.
Each participant of the Seychelles Clearing House will apply their own individual internal guidelines in managing their credit exposures to customers who have high instances of returned cheques.

The Seychelles Clearing House participants are keeping statistics covering returned cheque incidents in order to monitor the effectiveness of this new approach.

These new measures are in addition to already existing laws dealing with the matter.
Section 299A (1) of the Penal Code states that: Any person who: (a) issues a cheque on a bank, within or outside Seychelles, for the payment of which cheque there is no, or no sufficient, pre-existing, adequate or free provision; or (b) after the issue of a cheque, withdraws, whether within or outside Seychelles, all or part of any provision for the payment of such cheque or stops payment thereof; or (c) in any way prevents the payee of any cheque from effecting payment thereof, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for five years or to a fine of R50,000 or to both such imprisonment and fine.

Part (2) of the said section states that a prosecution shall not be commenced in respect of an offence under subsection (1) (a) of this section unless the payee of the cheque, within one month of receiving such cheque, or in the case of a post-dated cheque within one month of the date of such cheque, makes a complaint to the Police or to the Attorney General.

The CBS said in its communiqué that the issue of bounced cheques is having a negative impact on cheques being accepted as a trusted means of payment locally.

The communiqué said it is the duty of customers to ensure that their account is sufficiently provisioned prior to issuing a cheque since a cheque issued without adequate account provision is a criminal offence within the ambit of the Penal Code as stated earlier.

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