Cheques dishonoured because of signature issues: Bank


THE end of a financial year is normally a very busy period for businesses and the government’s finance operations are no exception, says a bank executive.
Bank South Pacific (BSP) chief head officer Robin Fleming was responding to concerns raised on the number of dishonoured government cheques.
He said the increase in cheques coupled with end of year business were stressful.
Fleming said the bank had a large number of cheque dishonoured last year due to signature issues.
“With the closure of government accounts before the end of the year, and with the desire by Government to settle accounts for its suppliers and contractors prior to year-end, there can be large numbers of government cheques issued in the final weeks of the year,” Fleming said.
“The increase in volume coupled with other end-of-year business activities can place stress on a government payment process that by its nature involves a number of government departments, Bank of PNG and commercial banks.
“BSP did experience a larger number of cheques being returned than would normally be the case.
“But in most instances, the reason for cheques being returned related to differences in the signature of the person signing the cheques and the signature record held on file.”
Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey earlier this month was concerned about the number of government cheques being dishonored by banks. He said the cheques had been vetted and endorsed by the administering government agency and approved for payment by the Department of Finance and recently the Department of Treasury.