Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • C A Penny
    • By C A Penny 12th Jun 19, 10:27 PM
    • 15Posts
    • 9Thanks
    C A Penny
    Complaint advice? Bank accepted cheques with different payee name
    • #1
    • 12th Jun 19, 10:27 PM
    Complaint advice? Bank accepted cheques with different payee name 12th Jun 19 at 10:27 PM
    I am executor of my late father’s estate and my question is about a possible complaint against a bank.

    I have discovered that two large cheques made out to my father were paid into his second wife’s savings account which is in her name only. The cheques were a year apart but within the last five years and the total value is 30,000. I now have copies of the cheques from the issuing bank - my father’s name “John Smith” was written in legible handwriting.

    I contacted the receiving bank and they categorically denied that these cheques would have been accepted unless the payee name was on the account.


    The circumstances are somewhat complicated so I may or may not take further action but I am investigating my options.

    I am wondering what the outcome might be if I raised a complaint against the bank on the basis that firstly, the cheques should not have been accepted and secondly, that a considerable amount of money has been lost to my father’s estate.

    Can anyone help please?
Page 2
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 18th Jun 19, 10:50 AM
    • 31,367 Posts
    • 19,448 Thanks
    xylophone
    the bank denies the cheques would have been accepted unless it was a joint account and the recipient denies it was a joint account.
    I was then informed by Wife2's solicitor that the account has only ever been in Wife2's sole name (obviously a quick look at the appropriate statements/pass book would also have proved this at less expense!).
    If you have proof that the account in question was a sole account, then you raise a formal complaint and await events?
    • Terry Towelling
    • By Terry Towelling 18th Jun 19, 2:57 PM
    • 1,968 Posts
    • 1,656 Thanks
    Terry Towelling
    Is it possible that another account was in existence (about which we know nothing) and that this was a joint one? Wife2 paid them in there and then transferred the money across to her sole savings account. Is this something that is evident from copies of the cashed cheques, or is it something that needs to be asked directly and get a solicitor's response?

    Wife2 could be playing games - the answer to the question about the savings account being sole or joint has been answered correctly (we believe) but so far we only have Wife2's word for it that she paid the cheques into that account. Perhaps we need a sworn affidavit that the cheques were paid in there directly (rather than indirectly) - in which case it has to be bank error or the sworn affidavit would be a lie.
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 30th Jun 19, 1:56 PM
    • 2,598 Posts
    • 4,692 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    Have you made any further progress with this OP?
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow " JOB DONE!!
    This should now read "It's time to start digging up those Squirrelled Nuts"!!!
    • C A Penny
    • By C A Penny 10th Jul 19, 4:09 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    C A Penny
    Sadly, not really, and given all the issues involved, we need to go back to the solicitor. We had a couple of informal chats with Wife2 and thought we had reached some sensible agreements. Apparently not as we've just received communication from Wife2's solicitor via her daughter: "All monies from the (family) estate were paid into Mum's savings account with (my father's) full knowledge and consent, and therefore (xxx bank) were within their rights to accept the cheques." There were other points in the email.

    Did I mention that Wife2's daughter has had a number of loans from her mum (and therefore, my father), over the years - more than 10k outstanding when he died, now over 20k? Therein lies the driving force.

    It's farcical - my genuine questions in pursuit of facts have awakened a monster with a lot to lose. I'm weary of the whole thing and I think Wife2's daughter is hoping we will simply give up and go away, with the help of some strong words from their solicitor.
    Last edited by C A Penny; 10-07-2019 at 4:17 PM. Reason: edits
    • Terry Towelling
    • By Terry Towelling 10th Jul 19, 7:05 PM
    • 1,968 Posts
    • 1,656 Thanks
    Terry Towelling
    ...we've just received communication from Wife2's solicitor via her daughter: "All monies from the (family) estate were paid into Mum's savings account with (my father's) full knowledge and consent, and therefore (xxx bank) were within their rights to accept the cheques."
    Originally posted by C A Penny
    Was this communication written by the daughter or the solicitor? It's in quotes, so the inference is that these are the actual words used in the communication. It would seem a bit strange for a solicitor to use the word, 'Mum', so I am assuming it is the daughter's wording. If that is the case, why is she getting involved? Is she trying to stop Wife2 from perjuring herself? The bank has already told you that they wouldn't allow the cheques to be paid into her sole-named savings account. That's why I thought there may be another joint account somewhere that Wife2 has kept secret and she channelled the monies through that into her savings. If this is true, she obviously has reason for keeping that account hidden - more dodgy dealings perhaps? Sounds like you really need a sworn affidavit from Wife2 about her claims to have paid the cash directly into her savings account.
    • C A Penny
    • By C A Penny 10th Jul 19, 7:59 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    C A Penny
    Yes, the email was from the daughter and starts "Following a visit to the solicitor yesterday, I have been advised to inform you of the following: (6 points)".


    Daughter is still living at the house and looks after her mum. I have asked directly whether there were ANY other accounts with my father's name on them, at ANY time, and it has been repeated that my father only ever had one bank account (no savings/ISAs etc).



    I find it hard to believe that the bank could accept the cheques 'within their rights' as the solicitor put it, as this contravenes The Cheques Act 1992 and Section 81 of the Bills of Exchange Act 1882 - a cheque which bears the ‘A/C Payee’ crossing can only be paid into an account in the name of the recipient exactly as it appears on the cheque.


    I was hoping to avoid going down the 'legal' route and thought we had reached amiable and reasonable agreement about a number of issues but it seems Wife2 (/daughter) has changed her mind. I am reviewing the situation!
    • Terry Towelling
    • By Terry Towelling 10th Jul 19, 8:30 PM
    • 1,968 Posts
    • 1,656 Thanks
    Terry Towelling
    Why would the solicitor advise Wife2's daughter to respond to you instead of responding themselves? Do you suspect they are not willing to put their name on anything they themselves have been unable to verify as true?

    So you still only have Wife2/daughter's word for it that there were no other accounts in Wife2's name with your father's name attached. You need that sworn affidavit about Wife2's bank accounts (if you are entitled to ask for such) or you need Wife2/daughter to ask their bank to confirm to you that they did willingly accept the cheques contrary to normal procedure. Why would they have a problem with that if it is true?

    You obviously know this whole situation stinks. Given the fact your father's current account became 'joint' with Wife2, there is no real reason why the cheques weren't paid into that account so that Wife2 could transfer the amounts over to her sole account, thus ensuring complete transparency. To the suspicious amongst us (me) the fact this didn't happen suggests Wife2 felt the need to conceal something.

    Best of luck in your quest.
    • C A Penny
    • By C A Penny 10th Jul 19, 9:47 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    C A Penny
    Thank you. I'll post the outcome.
    • IanManc
    • By IanManc 10th Jul 19, 10:37 PM
    • 908 Posts
    • 1,682 Thanks
    IanManc
    Yes, the email was from the daughter and starts "Following a visit to the solicitor yesterday, I have been advised to inform you of the following: (6 points)".


    Daughter is still living at the house and looks after her mum. I have asked directly whether there were ANY other accounts with my father's name on them, at ANY time, and it has been repeated that my father only ever had one bank account (no savings/ISAs etc).



    I find it hard to believe that the bank could accept the cheques 'within their rights' as the solicitor put it, as this contravenes The Cheques Act 1992 and Section 81 of the Bills of Exchange Act 1882 - a cheque which bears the ‘A/C Payee’ crossing can only be paid into an account in the name of the recipient exactly as it appears on the cheque.


    I was hoping to avoid going down the 'legal' route and thought we had reached amiable and reasonable agreement about a number of issues but it seems Wife2 (/daughter) has changed her mind. I am reviewing the situation!
    Originally posted by C A Penny
    Just bear in mind:
    that you haven't "received communication from Wife2's solicitor" and have no idea if the daughter even visited a solicitor;
    any solicitor is very unlikely to have said that the bank was "within their rights" to do something which is patently unlawful;
    you have no idea what self-serving fairy story the daughter told the solicitor if she did see one;
    and you have no reason to believe that what the daughter is telling you bears any resemblance at all to what any solicitor might have told her.

    There are only three likely scenarios:

    1. The cheques were paid into an account which didn't have your father's name on it and the bank made the same mistake repeatedly in accepting them.

    2. There was a joint account which the cheques were paid into and you are being lied to.

    3. Your father had another account in his sole name which you don't know about, and you're being lied to.

    Seeing the simplest explanation is usually the right one, I'd favour scenarios 2 or 3. Wife2 and the daughter have a clear financial interest in lying to you and stopping you from investigating further.

    As an executor you're responsible for gathering in the assets of the estate and making sure that the forms submitted to HMRC are correct, so you can't just let this go.

    I think you should go to your own solicitor again for advice. That advice is necessary for you to administer the estate properly and is an expense that can be charged against the estate.

    I've been an executor quite a few times and it is a hard enough job without people being dishonest, so I you have my sympathies.
    Last edited by IanManc; 10-07-2019 at 10:41 PM.
    • sausage_time
    • By sausage_time 11th Jul 19, 7:04 AM
    • 224 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    sausage_time
    If scenario 2 or 3 as above, and your father is named, would you not have access to any such account (and its transaction history) as executor?
    • IanManc
    • By IanManc 11th Jul 19, 10:17 AM
    • 908 Posts
    • 1,682 Thanks
    IanManc
    If scenario 2 or 3 as above, and your father is named, would you not have access to any such account (and its transaction history) as executor?
    Originally posted by sausage_time
    The executor would need to know about the account's existence and the institution with which it was held in order to "have access" to it.

    Here the executor appears to be being lied to and is being told that the account doesn't exist or hasn't existed.

    Any ideas how the executor would "have access" to the account in those circumstances?
    • Terry Towelling
    • By Terry Towelling 11th Jul 19, 1:48 PM
    • 1,968 Posts
    • 1,656 Thanks
    Terry Towelling
    Potentially, you could start the ball rolling by contacting the main banking institutions - name and address (Wife2's and/or father's) should enable it to be traced if it exists. I'd probably guess the 'other' joint account was at the same institution as Wife2's savings account, so that would be my starting point.

    If you think about it, Wife2 was not originally named on your father's current account and Wife2 has only ever spoken of a savings account in her sole name. So, at that time, what was Wife2 doing for normal everyday access to banking? She could have just been relying on your father and his banking provisions for access to money but, given the air of suspicion surrounding everything, that seems doubtful.

    Either way, as several of us have now said (and as you already suspected anyway) someone is probably lying to you. Wife2's solicitor has either not been consulted with regard to this latest correspondence or has deliberately distanced themselves because they do not wish to become entangled in the web of probable deceit.

    Going back to the original issue, do you think Wife2's savings account provider would be willing to put in writing a definitive statement that they would, under no circumstances, have ever accepted a cheque payable to Person A and let it be paid into Person B's account?
    • sazaccount
    • By sazaccount 11th Jul 19, 9:46 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 392 Thanks
    sazaccount
    Just a thought... I don't know how executorship works but do you have access to your dads credit report? These should show any accounts he has and any "linked" people which wife2 should appear on as a connection for the joint account.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 12th Jul 19, 8:05 AM
    • 7,012 Posts
    • 8,224 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    Although the bank should not have done this I don’t see how it has cost the estate anything. Had the bank insisted the cheque was paid into his or a joint account it would simply have been transferred into her savings account as the next step.

    Transfers between spouses are everyday events and there is no way you can show this was against his wishes.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 12th Jul 19, 8:41 AM
    • 31,367 Posts
    • 19,448 Thanks
    xylophone
    Had the bank insisted the cheque was paid into his or a joint account it would simply have been transferred into her savings account as the next step.
    This is immaterial to the issue.

    The question is quite simply does the OP have proof that a cheque drawn in the sole name of his father was paid into a sole account in the name of another party?

    If he does, he makes a formal complaint and awaits the outcome.
    • zerog
    • By zerog 12th Jul 19, 12:37 PM
    • 2,432 Posts
    • 854 Thanks
    zerog
    Just a thought... I don't know how executorship works but do you have access to your dads credit report? These should show any accounts he has and any "linked" people which wife2 should appear on as a connection for the joint account.
    Originally posted by sazaccount
    Not savings accounts.
    • Terry Towelling
    • By Terry Towelling 12th Jul 19, 6:40 PM
    • 1,968 Posts
    • 1,656 Thanks
    Terry Towelling
    Not savings accounts.
    Originally posted by zerog

    Maybe so, but it's not the savings account that is an issue here; it's the belief that there is (or was) another current account somewhere in joint names that is being concealed.
    • C A Penny
    • By C A Penny 18th Jul 19, 10:55 AM
    • 15 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    C A Penny
    Gearing up for a meeting with the solicitor. Meanwhile, I have just been told that due to an oversight by the company secretary, another cheque was issued in March and sent to Wife2's address. The payee was 'The estate of (John Smith)" and yet the cheque was banked successfully! Wife2 was in hospital at the time so the deposit was made by her daughter. They were both fully aware that anything relating to my father's estate should have been passed to me but I was not informed.
    • Terry Towelling
    • By Terry Towelling 18th Jul 19, 11:51 AM
    • 1,968 Posts
    • 1,656 Thanks
    Terry Towelling
    Keep going. Sounds like you are about to expose something Wife2 and daughter would rather you didn't. Do you think the threat of law-enforcement involvement might chivvy them along? It does sound like a deliberate attempt to defraud - even if it isn't, the threat might be enough.
    • IanManc
    • By IanManc 18th Jul 19, 12:48 PM
    • 908 Posts
    • 1,682 Thanks
    IanManc
    Gearing up for a meeting with the solicitor. Meanwhile, I have just been told that due to an oversight by the company secretary, another cheque was issued in March and sent to Wife2's address. The payee was 'The estate of (John Smith)" and yet the cheque was banked successfully! Wife2 was in hospital at the time so the deposit was made by her daughter. They were both fully aware that anything relating to my father's estate should have been passed to me but I was not informed.
    Originally posted by C A Penny
    If the company had previously been told that any correspondence or cheques relating to the estate should be sent to you and they have sent the cheque elsewhere in March then that is their problem. They should be sending you a replacement cheque and they, not you, should be pursuing Wife2 for their money back.

    The fact that this cheque has been banked despite who it was made payable to would suggest to me that Wife2 has been operating an account with your father's name still on it and is lying about it. That account may have now been transferred into her own name by survivorship if it was a joint account, or if it was a sole account she may have emptied it and closed it by making a fraudulent declaration to the institution where it was held.

    Do not back off from this. It stinks.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,439Posts Today

8,677Users online

Martin's Twitter