Helpful hints to writing cheques
If you have had cheques
returned to you before, you will know that it is both costly and frustrating. As
part of HSBC's ongoing efforts to serve you better, we have put together a list
of frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) to help you avoid returned cheques. This
will help you save money, time and hassle.
Q : Why do my cheques get returned ?
A : There are many reasons why your cheque may get returned to
you. Usually, these are technical errors such as incorrect date format, payee
and amount details, signature, alterations, damage, or simply insufficient
balance in your account.
Q : Could the incorrect date on my cheque cause it to be returned ?
A : Absolutely. All cheques must be written in this format - "DD/MM/YY",
where day, month and year must be written in this respective order. For example,
7 June 2005 should be filled in as:
Missing, incomplete or unclear dates on cheques will lead to cheques being
If you need to post-date your cheques (a date later than the date on which
you are writing the cheque), ensure that the party presenting the cheque does so
on or after the date of the cheque. Otherwise, the cheque will not be honoured.
Note : All cheques expire automatically alter six months
from the date of issue.
Q : Do I have to write out the amount completely?
A : You have to write the amount in both words and numbers, and they
both have to match.
Q : If there are two signatories on file, would my signature alone be enough
A : On every cheque you write, all signatures have to correspond with the
bank's record. For instance, if you share an account with your wife and you are
both joint signatories on the cheques, then you would both have to sign the
cheque, as it is on file. If your cheque is missing a signature, or if the
signature(s) is inconsistent with the bank's records, it will be returned.
Q : What if I need to change the details on the cheque?
A: At any time if you need to alter any detail on the cheque, for example,
the date, simply counter-sign in full next to the alteration. Otherwise, your
cheque will be returned.
Q : There is a small tear on the cheque. Can it still be presented to the
A: No. Cheques which are damaged in any way cannot be presented to the bank.
Damaged cheques may make automated processing impossible.
Q : Can I re-present a cheque once it has been returned to me?
A: You may do so only if your payee has informed the bank to allow the cheque
to be re-presented for clearance. Otherwise, cheques returned due to technical
errors cannot be presented again.
Q: How can I ensure I have sufficient funds in my account before I write a
A: To ensure that you have sufficient funds in your account before issuing a
cheque, here are three quick and easy ways to do so:
1) Internet Banking With online@hsbc, HSBC's Internet banking service, you
can access your account any time and anywhere around the world. You can check
your account balance as well as transfer funds from one account to another. This
means, you can manage your account(s) more effectively and conveniently.
2) ATM With over 70 ATM locations in Singapore, you will always have one near
you. Check your account balance, deposit cash/cheques and perform fund
3) PhoneBanking You can also carry out banking transactions from any phone by
using our PhoneBanking service. Call 1800 227 8888 (in Singapore) or (65) 6277
8888 (from overseas).
You may also wish to set up a Standing Instruction to transfer money
automatically from your savings account to your checking account to ensure that
there are sufficient funds in your account.
For more information and questions about returned cheques, please call our
Customer Service hotline on 1800-HSBC NOW (4722 669) in Singapore or (65) 6-HSBC
NOW (4722 669) from overseas. Or email us your queries at firstname.lastname@example.org