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Bank loses instructor's cheques

PUBLISHED: 12:14 18 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:28 03 March 2010

A FELIXSTOWE bank has admitted losing more than £250 of an Ipswich driving instructor's money - and is asking him to help them find it.

Doug Norton had a number of cheques, with a total value of £257, paid into his account with the Co-operative Bank on July 12.

A FELIXSTOWE bank has admitted losing more than £250 of an Ipswich driving instructor's money - and is asking him to help them find it.

Doug Norton had a number of cheques, with a total value of £257, paid into his account with the Co-operative Bank on July 12.

But when they failed to show up in his bank statements, he contacted his local branch and discovered his cheques – and those of a handful of others – had been misplaced.

Despite being able to prove by receipts the money had been handed in, the bank is asking Mr Norton, 45, to do some detective work and trace the cheques before the cash can be credited to his account.

"It's a ridiculous situation," said Mr Norton, of Lovetofts Drive. "My wife had paid the money into the speedbank at Solar in Felixstowe and I can prove that. I've supplied the bank with photocopies of our receipts and they still will not pay me the money."

The driving instructor said bank staff told him the statement from the branch the money had been paid into had gone missing – so there were no records of his payment.

"I've been asked to trace the cheques that my customers gave to me so I can prove the money has gone out of their accounts. But I stand little or no chance of proving which cheques they were – there could have been cheques from as many as 10 customers," he said.

"It doesn't seem fair that they have made a mistake and I am having to sort it out. And they must have known they had made that mistake so why didn't they contact me? I'm sure it has affected others too.

If I hadn't noticed it, nothing would have been said and I would not have got the money."

He added: "I know it is only £257 but I am going to lose face in front of customers as a result. Legally I must be entitled to it. What would have happened if I had paid in cash? Would I have had to look for the serial numbers on the coins?"

Paul Lawler, a spokesman for the Co-operative Bank, said the cheques had "gone missing" after being paid into the bank.

He said: "Our policy is that Mr Norton should at least get information from one of the cheques from his customers so we can check where the money has gone. Once that is resolved, he should get his money."

He added cheques return to the bank of the person who had written them after they have been processed, and would contain information that would enable the bank to trace the other misplaced cheques.

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