Unable to withdraw funds from at call bank account

Last Friday a term deposit matured. I did not roll it over. There have been several examples of bad behaviour by the bank as it relates to me trying in vain since 13/01/23 to withdraw the funds.

Rather than go through the whole saga, at this point I have one question:

Yesterday the funds were said to finally be made availble. I asked for a bank chq to be issued for me because of problems with online banking. The problems are the bank’s not mine. It was agreed I would visit a certain branch today for the bank chq.

Today I visited and was asked to sign a withdrawal form (it’s for a significant amount, so I took care at reading what was written on the bank’s unique form) and I signed. The cheque production process had begun.
By this time the bank officer took the withdrawal form I signed to her boss to countersign.
15 mins later the young bank officer enters the room and I’m told “the cheque did not come out correctly so we need to issue another cheque”. She then leaves.

Frustrated at the lack of professionalism exhibited, I waited patiently until I was interrupted: first the bank officer and then separately her boss, the acting manager. Both asked me to sign a second withdrawal form for the same amount. I noticed it had a different cheque number on it.

I declined signing because then there would be paperwork for two different withdrawals of $X each, a total of $2X when I only wanted $X and the chq would be only for $X.

The manager made clear at first politely and then with a stern attitude that the cheque will be for $X not $2X and the cheque is being redone. This means, she added, if I “do not sign the second form as was requested by the bank officer and then her, I will not get the bank cheque” not today not tomorrow.
I said “I will not sign twice as that would indicate I withdrew an amount significantly different from what you even say the value of the cheque would be”.

10 mins later, while I was emailing my branch manager with the latest installment of this saga, the mgr came up to me and not in a friendly manner. She proceeded to rip a cheque in front of me. This presumably was the cheque she would process through the printer after I signed again a withdrawal form.

Question: I signed one withdrawal form. It was countersigned by the bank officer and her boss. I was not given a cheque. Can I be forced to sign again - and who knows, maybe again AND again - in order to obtain my money? I am not comfortable signing multiple withdrawal forms totaling, so far, twice the quantum of the value of the single withdrawal I seek.

I bank with several banks and never seen such demands placed on a customer.

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If the bank cheque withdrawal form has the bank cheque number on it, and there was a problem with printing such as a misalignment, then a new withdrawal form with a new cheque number would need to be completed again.

It is a while since I have obtained a bank cheque, but from memory the withdrawal form and cheque are on the same form. The printer prints/fills in the cheque details. If the cheque printed incorrectly, then it renders the whole form invalid as the cheque won’t be honoured when it is deposited. A new form containing new bank cheque number would be needed.

If your situation happened to me, I wouldn’t hesitate in completing/signing a second replacement form. However, I would ensure the first form was torn up in front of me. I would also ask for any bank cheque fees to be waived for the inconvenience.

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Nope. Providing that you don’t want the bank cheque.

Or at least returned to you so that you could “erase” your signature.


I guess if you fundamentally don’t trust this bank then you could partially protect yourself by writing on the second form that it is a second attempt at the same withdrawal as the failed first attempt and then using your smartphone to photograph the second form thusly amended.

For a “significant amount” and a name brand Australian bank, I really don’t think they are going to abscond to Rio with your $X.

I don’t think you mentioned whom the bank cheque is payable to. If it’s payable to yourself then what’s the worst that can happen if the whole thing did end up actually working twice?

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In my case I was given an A4 sheet of paper with the bank’s details on it as well as the sun of my proposed withdrawal and bank a/c number.

The chq was not attached. I know they form you allude to with, from memory, a perforated edge. Such a form was not offered to me.

I smelled a rat when the staff kept the original form I signed and asked for me to sign another. I am unfamiliar with such situations so did not do as you and person suggest.

I can say that I was not given the original form now allegedly defunct, nor a photocopy noting it will be cancelled. Nor was I given the allegedly invalid chq.

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Please see my reply to @phb that also covers some of your points.

@person

I think that signing two forms for withdrawals from the same account where the sum of both withdrawals vastly exceeds the account balance would paint me in poor light.

Especially when i have no proof not physical or in writing of the alleged error staff made who claimed the only way out of the situation is for me to sign again in order to obtain a chq.

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If there were two forms, was one a standard bank cheque withdrawal form and the other the bank cheque issuing form? They might look similar and both require your signature.

It appears you think that there is some sort of conspiracy. Mistakes happen all the time. With a bank cheque for a large amount, they will want to ensure there are no mistakes or ambiguities with the transaction process.

I am not sure why you would think this would be the case. If there was a mistake, it is the bank’s error not yours.

If you signed two withdrawal forms, it is worth noting that a withdrawal form is a banking administrative/record document recording a transaction. It has no other purpose and can’t be ‘cashed’ like a cheque.

Lets assume all the bank personnel at the branch are dodgy and they are a criminal team undertaking some sort of fraudulent activities. Say they somehow created two bank cheques from two separate withdrawal forms. As two cheques vastly exceeds the funds in your account, where are the additional funds coming from to cover the value of the bank cheque? Any second cheque recorded on the withdrawal form would not be possible from your account. Also, bank cheque funds aren’t cleared from your account but from the bank’s own account. This is why they are call bank cheques and not personal cheques. To allow this to occur, money is transferred from your personal account to the bank’s account as recorded by the withdrawal form.

So even if the first withdrawal form for a bank cheque (one with the mistake) came into the wrong hands, nothing can be done with it. All it will provide is some indication of the amount of money you have. The bank personal don’t need a withdrawal form to know this, as they already know this from doing the transaction with you.

Possibly you are trying to create a storm in a teacup and think there is something sinister to be read into what happened. Mistakes happen and you are possibly fortunate they picked up the mistake during the bank cheque issuing process, rather than finding out at the time of deposit/cashing in the cheque couldn’t be honoured due to a mistake not picked up during the issuing process. I think the bank personnel have minimised potential inconvenience to you by identifying a mistake at issuing which could significantly impact you at a later time.

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Are the cheques in favour of you?

The situation is actually different from the situation where you write a personal cheque. That’s why it’s called a bank cheque.

If you wrote personal cheques in this situation then you could get charged a dishonour fee. Or, potentially worse, they will honour the cheque that overdraws your account and (rightly) charge you for the fact that they have given you credit.

Neither of those possibilities exists when it’s a bank cheque. If they were silly enough to issue two bank cheques for this “significant amount” then the possibility exists that they could open themselves up to a “significant fraud”. However unless the beneficiary of the cheques (the payee) plans to skip the country, it would get sorted out in the end anyway. TANSTAAFL.

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Both forms were identical: A4, with the bank’s name, my name as account holder and account number.
Also the bank chq number was listed, but the bank chq was not part of the form.
As to impacting on me, it impacted on me from last Friday when I tried to withdraw the funds but was unable to do so. On Monday afternoon I was told that the funds are tied up in a term deposit and I could have the funds if I signed a “break” form and suffered the penalty for “early withdrawal”.

When I made clear that I did not set up a TD from 13/01/23 and reject being penalised for attempting to w/draw from my at call a/c, the bank was unable to prove that in fact I set up the TD.
Separately I could not download their app, which I was told to do to “be able to transfer to another bank”. It seems the app is not compatible with NOKIA.

  1. I was the payee in both chqs;
  2. Each form listed the same a/c from where the funds were to come from;
  3. Each form listed a withdrawal of the same sizez and a bank chq number;
  4. While “accidents” do occur to bank staff, had I signed the second withdrawal form, the records will show that I attempted to withdraw funds that did not exist. There was no mention on the form that it was a replacement form;
  5. What erks me most is that I was not given the so called “invalid” form nor a photocopy of it;
  6. I was proactive and yesterday emailed my branch asking them to EFT the funds as they have the a/c number at the bank I wish to move the funds to, but I received an incredible reply, so out of touch with customers, demanding I attend a branch for the 3rd time this week in order to obtain the funds. I very much doubt that AFCA or for that matter, the so called “reasonable person” lawyers speak of, would consider it just and proper that I skip work yet again to visit a branch for the bank to do what other banks do time and again electronically without a customer walking in or allow a customer to arrange this online;
  7. Even though I did not sign the second form the bank w/drew the funds a second time from my a/c before crediting it back.
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True but had they given you two bank cheques, you just doubled your money, no questions asked. :rofl: No matter what happens to the cheques, as they list you as the payee, the situation is relatively safe.

Tedious indeed.

Possibly the significant amount and all the recent data breaches are making them extra cautious.

There are default limits on EFT. Those limits exist for your protection. You won’t be able to transfer more than a certain amount via EFT unless you pre-authorise the destination account, as a one-off hassle. Different banks have different procedures for establishing that authorisation.

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Allow me to clarify. I was told by one branch mgr that in order to have hassle free online transfers I must pre-authorise and that is done via a specific form that must be handed to staff and not emailed.
I completed the form and handed it in person on Tue. It was to take 2-3 days to organise by the back office. It was organised but I still can’t access the funds as the relevant app is needed over and above the signed pre-authorisation form and lo and behold: the app is not compatible with all androids.

I don’t buy the bank is “extra cautious”. I think their protocols are poor. I was looking into the matter today and saw this bank blocked a customer’s debit card when he was overseas. He told them ahead of time of his travels, but they still blocked him citing “security” reasons that were not revealed to him
Apparently banks can turn cards on and off like taps if they choose, so long as it’s mentioned in the Terms and Conditions.
Doesn’t smell right to me.

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I forgot to mention, without the app it seems that I cannot transfer a penny to an a/c outside this bank.

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If you have access to your account online through a web browser, you should be able easily transfer it that way.

You might need to increase the maximum transfer limit and notify the bank of the transfer as it might be flagged for review by the bank’s anti-fraud team… meaning it might be held up until such time the transaction is verified by you.

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Online there is a limit to the quantum of a transfer.
After looking into it I was told to fill in a form and hand it to a staff in a branch. That form lifts the limit to a predesignated payee. I listed the limit I want (which was under the bank’s maximum) and listed the name of the payee.
2 days later the new limit and payee name were on my online profile BUT even online via a browser in order to make a transfer the bank requires the app be used by a customer in order to send security codes to be used in the online banking process to effect the transaction.
In short, without a working app, I can’t transfer a dime.

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I once had a similar problem where a Westpac bank cheque misprinted. The branch gave me a new form to sign and the old form duly marked as cancelled. Your bank should have done likewise.

A number of banks are doing that with their ‘authenticator’ as part of 2FA, some still soldier on with SMS codes, and those that will send a code by email seem to be rarer by the week if there are any remaining. I discovered ringing in will not get by that code in every financial institution - in some an agent can provide ‘the’ code to a customer and in others the agents are on disparate systems to assure zero chance of internal fraudulent behaviour.

Many consumers do not realise the dependence of banking apps on their phones (age, operating system, manufacturer, patch levels) and have similar problems to your own.

Although not explicitly helpful to your dilemma you may remember my reply to you in another topic.

It appears you have a choice of following the branch requirements to sign off on a replacement bank cheque, buy/borrow a compliant phone, or continue to be ‘trapped’ in your current situation. I presume the branch still has your faulty cheque and signed form as well as your money so I struggle to understand your angst about signing another as well as the branch’s apparent disinclination (refusal) to so annotate a replacement form/cheque accordingly.

As with apps and web sites at some point one needs to trust something. But since you seem disinclined to do so have you engaged the bank’s complaints (not customer service) line (by phone not form) to see if there is a way to work through it that fits in your comfort zone?

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I fully agree. They declined to give this to me.
Do they really think customers have nothing better to do than assume the bank is honest whe it denies such paperwork to the customer or even a photocopy of it?
I expect they will change their tune when they have to answer to AFCA.

Now AFCA will want to know how you have tried to resolve your issue with the bank, and if you have suffered any financial loss.

Seems you have not suffered any financial loss, and you cannot get your funds transfered because you just won’t follow a process to protect both your money and the bank’s money.

OK, the teller at the branch mucked up the printing of a bank cheque, and it needed to be redone. So get it redone. The only thing stopping you withdrawing money from your account is you not working with the banking system as it exits.

A process that requires me to visit a branch three times to get hold of my funds is obscene.
A process where at the time I wanted to transfer my funds, I am told that they are in a term deposit. A TD I did not arrange. It is now a week since I asked the bank: who arranged the TD, for what term and at what interest rate?
I have received no answers.

I have indeed suffered loss:
I am earning NO interest and could earn 4%
I do not have the time to go 3x to a branch in a week. I have other commitments.
In fact I went to a branch twice as instructed and still the bank can’t get it’s act together.
I followed the bank’s instruction to download the app to my phone in order to be able to tfr funds. But it does not download. The branch mgr agreed that there was some app problem.
So did I suffer loss? Yes. Interest, inconvenience, multiple hassles and abuse by a manager.

So, no amount of complaining on this site is going to resolve the issue for you @Jon01.

If you cannot due to security requirements get or transfer your money due to technical online limitations, then a branch visit is needed.

Perhaps a different branch of the bank?

Maybe I should repeat an earlier point I made: I bought a mobile a few months ago. A smart phone I was told to get. I was not told to buy a particular make or model.
After AFCA agrees to order interest to be paid to me and for the bank to EFT the funds on my behalf as well as the modest claim for compensation, I will withdraw most of my funds, but leave a few dollars in the transaction a/c. I have no stamina or interest to re-visit a branch to sign off an a/c closure.
As to a different branch, I thought the same and did visit a different branch, twice in the past week. Different from my usual branch.
I did find it odd that I was not only asked to show my bank card when speaking to staff, at the second branch, something I understand, but I was also asked for my driver’s licence which they studied and proceeded to photocopy. “Why” was never explained beyond “security reasons”. Is this common amongst banks?