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Is a financial institution required to cash an Economic Impact paper check issued to a non-customer?

October 5 2020 11:21 pm

No. As a general matter, a bank is under no legal duty to cash a check, even one drawn on the bank by an account holder. However, the FDIC and other bank regulatory agencies have issued statements encouraging institutions to work with consumers and communities affected by COVID-19 developments. The FDIC recognizes that such efforts serve the long-term interests of communities and the financial system when conducted with appropriate management oversight and are consistent with safe and sound banking practices and applicable laws, including consumer protection laws. These efforts may include easing restrictions on cashing non-customer checks. For example, some banks have voluntarily decided to cash non-customer’s economic impact checks without charging a fee.

For more information on assisting consumers in light of COVID-19 developments, see the FDIC’s Statement on Financial Institutions Working with Customers Affected by the Coronavirus and Regulatory and Supervisory Assistance (FIL-17-2020), issued on March 13, 2020.