The duties and responsibilities of a collecting banker are discussed below:
1. Due care and diligence in the collection of cheque.
2. Serving notice of dishonor.
3. Agent for collection.
4. Remittance of proceeds to the customer.
5. Collection of bill of exchange.
1. Due Care and Diligence in the Collection of Cheques:
The collecting banker is bound to show due care and diligence in the collection of cheques presented to him. In case a cheque is entrusted with the banker for collection, he is expected to show it to the drawee banker within a reasonable time. According to Section 84 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881, “Whereas a cheque is not presented for payment within a reasonable time of its issue, and the drawer or person in whose account it is drawn had the right, at the time when presentment ought to have been made, as between himself and the banker, to have the cheque paid and suffers actual damage, through the delay, he is discharged to the extent of such damage, that is to say, to the extent to which such drawer or person is a creditor of the banker to a large amount than he would have been if such cheque had been paid.”
In case a collecting banker does not present the cheque for collection through proper channel within a reasonable time, the customer may suffer loss. In case the collecting banker and the paying banker are in the same bank or where the collecting branch is also the drawee branch, in such a case the collecting banker should present the cheque by the next day. In case the cheque is drawn on a bank in another place, it should be presented on the day after receipt.
2. Serving Notice of Dishonour:
When the cheque is dishonoured, the collecting banker is bound to give notice of the same to his customer within a reasonable time.
It may be noted here, when a cheque is returned for confirmation of endorsement, notice must be sent to his customer. If he fails to give such a notice, the collecting banker will be liable to the customer for any loss that the customer may have suffered on account of such failure.
Whereas a cheque is returned by the drawee banker for confirmation of endorsement, it is not called dishonour. But in such a case, notice must be given to the customer. In the absence of such a notice, if the cheque is returned for the second time and the customer suffers a loss, the collecting banker will be liable for the loss.
3. Agent for Collection:
In case a cheque is drawn on a place where the banker is not a member of the ‘clearing-house’, he may employ another banker who is a member of the clearing-house for the purpose of collecting the cheque. In such a case the banker becomes a substituted agent. According to Section 194 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, “Whereas an agent, holding an express or implied authority to name another person to act in the business of the agency has accordingly named another person, such a person is a substituted agent. Such an agent shall be taken as the agent of a principal for such part of the work as is entrusted to him.”
4. Remittance of Proceeds to the Customer:
In case a collecting banker has realised the cheque, he should pay the proceeds to the customer as per his (customer’s) direction. Generally, the amount is credited to the account of the customer on the customer’s request in writing, the proceeds may be remitted to him by a demand draft. In such circumstances, if the customer gives instructions to his banker, the draft may be forwarded. By doing so, the relationship between principal and agent comes to an end and the new relationship between debtor and creditor will begin.
5. Collection of Bills of Exchange:
There is no legal obligation for a banker to collect the bills of exchange for its customer. But, generally, bank gives such facility to its customers. In collection of bills, a banker should examine the title of the depositor as the statutory protection under Section 131 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
Thus, the collecting banker must examine very carefully the title of his customer towards the bill. In case a new customer comes, the banker should extend this facility to him with a trusted reference.
From the above discussion, there is no doubt to say that the banker is acting as a mere agent for collection and not in the capacity of a banker. If the customer allows his banker to use the collecting money for its own purpose at present and to repay an equivalent amount on a fixed date in future the contract between the banker and the customer will come to an end.