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Chacham's Journal: Rant: Not all banks are banks 4

Journal by Chacham

I got paid. I went to the Comerica, which is the bank of the issuing party, to cash it. They asked me if i wanted to open an account. I declined. They then wanted to charge me five dollars to cash it! I refused.

I used to get paid through NBD, and had cashed my checks there. Then Bank One bought them and started charging three dollars!

I don't understand. They are a bank. They hold the money for someone, and are obliged to honor written contracts by the account holder to distribute his money. And now they want to be paid for that service?? They're not banks, they're just similar financial institutions.

I figured the reasoning is pay for "free checking". But that can't be because most poeople have bank accounts.

It must be just another way to nickel and dime people. Bah! Money is everything now. Very few people care to run a decent business.

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Rant: Not all banks are banks

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  • IME, a lot of checks can only be paid into an account - you can't cash them at all, let alone free of charge. (Since there's no guarantee it will clear, this seems reasonable to me.) The only aspect I object to is the long wait for the funds to clear, even if it's drawn on the same branch of the same bank - surely the funds could be transferred almost immediately, rather than waiting days for it to 'clear'? (Of course, in the UK at least, this is how they fund 'free' accounts: by sitting on the money, pocke
    • Checks are contracts telling the money holder (the bank) to release money to the stated person (or entity). Thet's why all checks say "Pay to the order of".

      Cashing it at another bank is really just asking your bank to go to the issuing party's bank for you. That's why it has to clear, *they* have to go to the bank. Thus, out-of-state takes longer.

      Going to the bank of the issuer, however, should incur no wait and no cost. If it does, there is something else at work.
      • Checks are contracts telling the money holder (the bank) to release money to the stated person (or entity). Thet's why all checks say "Pay to the order of".

        Here at least, they often also say "a/c payee only" - meaning they cannot be cashed, only deposited in an account. Legally speaking, they aren't a contract, either, since they fail at least two of the key criteria - they only authorize you to remove a certain amount of money from that account in some way, subject to certain constraints.

        Cashing it at

  • Ostensibly, the place that gave you the check already paid the bank for their services. The fact is, the bank would not be allowed to charge another bank a fee for honoring the check, so why would they be able to charge you? It does sound extremely fishy to me. Maybe you can get the place to pay you in cashier's checks instead of in regular checks. Then you could cash it anywhere for free.

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson

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