Complying with the Expedited Funds Availability Act is costing the
Under Regulation CC, which implements the 1987 law, bankers must clear
The rules, designed to help customers, are making life too easy for
"The rules make check availability very predictable," said Bruce Brett,
In 1993, banks lost $815 million to check fraud, according to the
"Something has to change," said Robert Rasor, special agent in charge of
New desktop publishing software, which makes it easier to forge checks,
"You don't know if the check is good until after you have released
Concerned about the funds availability law, Congress last year asked the
Last year's Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act
Mr. Brett said 70% of the time it takes banks three days to collect
The central bank is about a year and a half away from finishing the
The ABA is lobbying lawmakers in hopes of getting the extension sooner.
"The statute could change before the study is out," Ms. Feddis said. The
Mr. Brett, who also is chairman the ABA's task force on check fraud, is
"This is a problem that the banking industry has to solve itself," Mr.
Signet rewards employees who detect check fraud.
"A lot of people like to be gumshoes," Mr. Brett said.
The bank also is considering exchanging information with other banks
Mr. Brett predicts the problems with check fraud will not only encourage
Mr. Rasor of the Secret Service said traditional deterrents such as
Fingerprints could be computerized so a customer cashing a check would
The technology is a foolproof way to identify a person, he said. Mr.
Short of fingerprinting, Mr. Rasor said banks should strike deals with
Reg CC went into effect in 1988. For the first three years, banks had
The regulations have been amended several times, most recently last
General compliance with Reg CC, such as training and setting up computer
"The ongoing cost is not burdensome," he said.
However, fraud continues to mushroom. "The enemy is at the gate," Mr.