Nicholas wrote in with a scary problem: his paycheck, which he deposited at his local branch of PNC on Saturday, never showed up in his bank account. The teller seemed to have difficulty processing the deposit, but the slip he gave to Nicholas showed the check had been processed. In the days that followed, Nicholas lost his deposit slip and the only proof he had that the check ever went into his account. Now the bank is telling him it can’t help him without the slip, and Nicholas is wondering where the hell his money went.
My wife and I have our own separate bank accounts and a center, shared account, all with PNC. We can move money from each account to the other freely. Our employer is small enough that direct deposit is not offered, so we deposit our paychecks at our local branch every other Saturday. As we keep a large(ish) balance in the center account, we are able to deposit both of our checks as cash (basically, cash them then immediately deposit them, only the bank does it all). The funds are available immediately, and the transaction is recorded first thing Monday morning.
When we deposited our checks this Saturday, the teller was new and slow. He processed my wife’s deposit and then looked to have processed mine. He handed me a receipt that I have since lost that showed that my check had been processed. When I looked on Monday, my check had not shown up. When I looked again this morning, my check still had not shown. My wife’s showed normally.
I contacted the branch this afternoon, and the woman who answered was polite but insistent that she could do nothing without the receipt. I came home and searched all of hell and half of Georgia for the receipt, but to no avail. We called corporate customer service, which has apparently been outsourced, and the person on the phone was again insistent that we have the receipt. They have put through a request to find the physical check and find out what happened to it.
Here is my fear: if they find the check and it shows that it was processed as cash, what is stopping them from just saying they handed me the cash? I’m not a banker so I don’t know the process. Does my deposit slip stay with the check? In a situation such as mine, where I’ve endorsed the check with a signature so it may be deposited as cash, what are the safeguards in place to keep a teller from faking the deposit and receipt, pocketing the cash and concealing/destroying the deposit slip?
I realize I should have held on to the receipt, but can something like this really be held up by lack of a scrip of paper?
Don’t wait for PNC to get back to you on this—immediately ask your employer to stop payment on the check. If your employer can do that—that is, if your employer’s bank doesn’t already have a record of it being processed—then it was probably a ridiculous error on the new teller’s part and you can just have a new paycheck issued.
If the check has been cashed, you should treat the issue as a potential crime and report it as such immediately to the bank manager, and then to the executive level; there should be a video record of your transaction to review whether or not you were handed cash. If you need to reach high-level members of PNC, try searching EDGAR. We had to drill down several layers to reach this sample phone number, and we can’t confirm that this person is even affiliated with your bank, but it’s an example of the kind of data you can find if you dig deeply enough.
Readers, any other ideas? It seems a little early right now to call your lawyer, but if your employer confirms the check was processed, you might want to contact one for professional advice.