Bank sued over falsified cheques

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 June, 2010, 12:00am

A woman is suing the Bank of China (Hong Kong) for paying out fake cheques worth more than HK$1.2 million from her account and issuing a chequebook that she did not request and was later stolen.

In a writ filed in the High Court yesterday, Lau Li accuses the bank of negligence and breach of contract for failing to examine the cheques carefully and noticing the signatures were forged. Lau seeks compensation of HK$1.28 million that she says was wrongfully debited from her account.

The writ says someone requested a chequebook in Lau's name on February 11 using a forged signature. The bank mailed a chequebook to Lau's address, but it was stolen and never reached her.

On February 23, the bank called Lau and asked if she had drawn a cheque of more than HK$1 million. Lau denied having written the cheque. The next day, the bank called Lau to inform her that a cheque of hers had bounced. Lau said she had not written such a cheque and did not know the payee.

She rushed back to Hong Kong from Zhuhai and found that two cheques totalling HK$1.28 million had been cashed from her account the day before. Lau says her signatures were forged.

She also noticed that four cheques worth a total of HK$10.1 million had been deposited to her account, but all of them had bounced. Lau made a report to police the same day.