09 Jan '12, 12am

Understanding The Legal Nature Of Bank Deposits: Kelvin Low, SG Management University, ST: When someone deposits...

THE reports ('DBS/POSB customers hit by unauthorised ATM withdrawals', last Friday; 'ATM fraud 'contained', traced to two machines in Bugis area'; last Saturday) and the letter ('Give customers peace of mind' by Mrs Ong Chooi Peng; last Saturday) demonstrate a lack of understanding of the legal nature of bank deposits. Last Friday's report began with the sentence: 'At least 200 DBS Bank and POSB customers have been hit by an ATM fraud that has seen some $200,000 stolen from their accounts.' This is not correct. When someone deposits money with a bank, he is in effect lending money to it. Property rights to the money pass to the bank. In return, the bank owes its customer a debt. At that point, any money stolen or pilfered from the bank is its money, not its customer's. The bank continues to owe its customer the same debt unless there are special contractual stipulations al...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/STForum/Story/STIStory_753303...

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