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12 September 2003
Law 386/1990 provides that the issuers of cheques which bounce are to be penalized by administrative fines and must be registered in an electronic archive. In order to improve the payment system, Law 386/1990, as amended by Law 507/1999, set up the IAC electronic archive, which is maintained by the Bank of Italy and in which the issuers of bounced cheques and owners of overdrawn credit cards are registered.
The consequences of registration in the archive are (i) for the customer, revocation of the authorization to issue cheques, and (ii) a six-month prohibition on all banks from entering into an agreement with the customer to issue cheques, and from paying out on cheques issued by the customer following registration.
However, Clause 8 of Law 386/1990 states that there is no need for registration in the IAC archive if the customer provides the bank which received the bounced cheque with proof that payment has been made before a 60-day period for payment of the cheque expires.
Pursuant to Article 9(2) of Law 386/1990, the recipient bank must notify the customer of this 60-day deadline within 10 days of presentation of the cheque. The recipient bank must honour the cheque from the date of the payment request until the date on which notification is received by the issuer.
The Florence court decision extends the same exemption to cases where payment in favour of the beneficiary of the bounced cheque is not legally or contractually due.
The court has stated that this exemption applies only if the customer provides the recipient bank with proof that the obligation to pay is groundless.
For further information on this topic please contact Livio Esposizione or Elisabetta Trabucco at Studio Legale Tonucci by telephone (+39 06 36 22 71) or by fax (+39 06 323 5161) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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