Stopping a cheque

Stopping a cheque means telling your bank not to pay it.

It is not effective until the end of the presentation period, which is fifteen days from the issue date. If the check has not been stopped, the drawee (i.e. the bank required to pay the cheque) may be willing to cash the cheque even after the end of the presentation period.

The drawer (i.e. the person who wrote the cheque) may refuse payment if the cheque has been lost or stolen. This involves taking the matter to the relevant court for it to instruct the bank to withhold payment.

In the case of a banker’s draft or bank cheque the drawer and drawee are effectively the same, so a stop by the beneficiary or holder does not release the bank from its liabilities as the drawee of the cheque or draft. Consequently, if there is no evidence of the cheque being returned, or the court has released the bank from paying, the bank may refuse to comply with the instruction to stop the cheque, until a period of 15 years and 15 days has elapsed.

Find out more about stopping a cheque in our 2016 Complaints Report (in Spanish)Abre en ventana nueva

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