This led me to think about other ways in which modern payments subject to post-modern regulation and I remembered an interesting example from a couple of weeks ago. Someone wrote to The Daily Telegraph to sort out a payments problem. The person had asked one of the U.K.’s largest insurance companies to transfer some money to one of the U.K’s largest banks. After six weeks the money hadn’t arrived and when the customer checked, it turned out that the insurance company had sent it by cheque and, somewhat predictably, the cheque had been stolen and cashed by an identity thief. Here’s the cute part: the newspaper columnist says
The police then suggested you wrote to this column
After the newspaper spoke to the insurance company, they insisted they were not legally liable but agreed to pay back the £7,649 as a goodwill gesture. So, essentially, reporting the crime to the police was a waste of time but complaining to a newspaper got the money back. The details of the story aren’t that relevant, but it left me thinking “why in the year 2007 would a large insurance company pay a large bank several thousand pounds using a CHEQUE”? How is the payments system working for the economy if it support these kinds of choices? Why are you even allowed to write a cheque for more than a few hundred euros anyway? Surely one of Britain’s largest banks has its own IBAN sorted out by now?
These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]