So - The Bank Says Your Deposit is Missing?

 The following article appears in the publication - Retail Crime, Security, and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference . Published by: Butterworth-Heinemann (February 28, 2008) Authors: Charles Sennewald & John Christman. Your bank deposit...

How long do you keep your deposit trash?
Most bank policies require branches to secure and retain their deposit verification trash for seven to ten days. If you find they have not followed their own internal policy you have an excellent chance of getting deposit credited.

When is the last time a physical inspection of your drop box was made?
Many times the deposit does not slide into the secured bank portion of the drop box; it's still in the bottom drop box. A bank, in the Boston area, advised that it would cost $1000 to have the drop box dismantled to see if our six missing deposits were still in the box. (The actual cost to the bank to dismantle and inspect the box was $70). They stated that if the deposits were found they would pay the costs - if not my company would be charged. After opening the drop box the deposits, all six, were found. The practice of charging customers to dismantle the deposit drop box is becoming more popular with banks. The charge of $1,000 is the highest I have encountered. Usually the cost, if any, is around $65. If a bank wants to charge for a deposit box inspection it’s to discourage you from having them do it. If you have developed a solid business relationship with the bank manager there should be no charge.

Involving  the police.
A police report should be made regarding every missing deposit case. Managers have called and confessed to taking deposits after the police have left the store. Just the police showing up and taking an initial report has an effect and tells store staff that you take the matter seriously. Often when talking, by telephone, to the person responsible for making the deposit they ask, Is it really necessary to involve the police? This type of response may indicate the problem is at the store. After having this discussion, managers have called back to say, “I made a mistake.† When the police visit the bank, in response to your complaint to a missing deposit, they ask many of the same questions you do. Often, you will get a call from the bank, after the police leave, telling you, Your company is such a good customer - we don’t know if the deposit was made or not, but we’re going to credit your account. The last thing a bank wants is the police asking questions about their internal operations. It’s not that they have anything to hide; they are just uncomfortable with the whole process.

What can I do?
One of the most important steps you can take to ensure your store's bank deposits are made on a daily basis is collect the bank deposit receipts from the bank daily, or at least every few days. Verify or match the amount on the deposit ticket against your closing report or deposit log. When inclined to do so, employees will steal deposit money when management fails to verify deposits on a regular basis.

Remember - you are the customer.
It is important to remember banks have operational issues, just as your store(s) have. Make the effort to contact and introduce yourself to your banking officials, they are there to help you solve your issues. In the rare instance where a bank branch is unwilling to cooperate, contact their security department. You should receive immediate attention to your problem. In one case, a bank’s deposit box had a loose screw on the inside. The screw, protruding about one-half inch, was in danger of snaring the plastic deposit bags as they traveled down the chute. The store manager contacted the bank manager several times about the screw, and his efforts were ignored. After the store manager contacted the bank’s security department, the deposit box was repaired on the day of his telephone call. I can't say this enough - you're  the customer.  

Curtis Baillie, Principal Consultant -