Move to counter cheque fraud

Roadwin Chirara

RISING cases of fraud involving cheques have forced commercial banks to stop encashing third party cheques.


Commerc

ial banks are reported to have raised concern after they lost millions of dollars in fraudulent deals involving cheques, especially to third parties.


Zimbank is reportedly leading the pack in rejecting third party cheques at all its branches.


The bank’s group head for strategic planning and development, Dr Joseph Mzulu, said they took the decision to reduce the risk associated with third party cheque encashment.


He said the increase in fraud cases and the need to reduce banking hall congestion had also influenced the decision to invalidate the traditional third party cheque system.


“We are reducing cases of fraud and in most cases it’s the customer who suffers,” said Mzulu.


He said the bank had taken the decision as a pro-active approach in fighting fraud in the banking sector.


“We advertised, but most banks have already implemented the changes,” he said. “It is a case of moving with the time and safeguarding the banks from fruadsters,” said Mzulu. Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) director, Frank Read, said banks were calling for changes in the current cheque clearing system.


“I have not been around and really am not in a position to comment on that, but I am aware of bankers calling for unpaid cheques not to be represented for cashing,” said Read.

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