COMMONWEALTH BANK: BANKING WHETHER SYSTEM OF RETURNING PAID CHEQUES TO CUSTOMERS COULD BE PUT INTO EFFECT WITHOUT EXPOSING BANK TO LIABILITY: PRODUCTION OF CUSTOMERS-RECEIPTS AS ANSWER TO SUBPOENAS TO PRODUCE CHEQUES
The Secretary to the Treasury has forwarded the following letter from the Governor of the Commonwealth Bank for advice:
It is the general practice of banks in Australia to keep on hand the vouchers (cheque and credit slips) of their customers authenticating the ledger entries in the customers' accounts, but in various other parts of the world notably in England and America it is a common practice for the vouchers to be returned to the customer from time to time with the pass book.
With the object of following a somewhat similar procedure throughout the Commonwealth to that commonly in practice in England and America, I shall be glad to have the opinion of the Attorney-General as to whether in the event of the Bank delivering cheques from time to time to its customers, the Bank would be discharged from all liability and responsibility in connection with the vouchers so handed over on their taking a receipt in the form shown on the attached specimen sheet.
In the event of the Bank being subpoenaed to produce any such vouchers would the production of such a receipt absolve them from responsibility to do so.
The cheques and vouchers being the orders constituting the authority on which the Bank has paid the amounts set forth in the cheques, in my opinion, the signature by the customer of the attached form of receipt would relieve the Bank from all liability to him in respect of those cheques.
In the event of the Bank being subpoenaed to produce the vouchers, in my opinion, the production of the receipt would absolve them from the responsibility of doing so.
[Vol. 14, p. 497]