- In preparation for the distribution by Irish Water of water charges refund cheques banks (*) have liaised with the national utility to help ensure that these cheques are credited to people’s accounts as quickly and efficiently as possible. This has involved a series of meetings between the banks and Irish Water under the auspices of BPFI, as well as contact between individual banks and the utility on bank-specific matters.
- These meetings have proved helpful in facilitating a smooth refund programme: (a) in providing banks with an understanding of Irish Water’s cheque issuing process, the volumes involved and relevant capacity constraints; and (b) in informing Irish Water about the processes around cheque lodgement and clearing, anti-money laundering procedures and system capacity.
- Preparations have been made by banks to receive and process cheque lodgements as and when cheques are issued by Irish Water.
- As the refund cheques are crossed ‘account payee only’, these are required to be lodged directly to the named bank account. Once cleared, the account holder will have access to the funds. The means by which cheques can be lodged to account may well vary between one bank and another.
- Customers are advised to note that it is the practice of banks to decline cheques which are presented for payment six months or later than the date on which the cheque is written.
- Should customers wish to donate to charity part or all of the proceeds of their water charges refund cheque, banks will facilitate customer instructions – provided in the normal way – to make such payments on their behalf to charities of their choice. This will constitute a separate banking transaction. Again the means by which this can be facilitated may well vary between one bank and another.
- Banks and Irish Water are fully conscious of the additional demands which the issuing and processing of extra large volumes of cheques give rise to on top of the normal course of business – particularly so in the run-up to the busy Christmas period. In these circumstances banks are focused on making the process as quick and efficient as possible for their customers.
- For further information see Frequently Asked Questions on the Irish Water website here.
*AIB Bank, Bank of Ireland, KBC Bank, permanent tsb, Ulster Bank