Your views: Give more leeway to bank customers with inconsistent signatures
JASON SU CHENGLONG
Give more leeway to bank customers with inconsistent signatures
Recently, I issued a cheque to a friend, which was rejected when she went to cash it at the DBS Bank branch at Plaza Singapura.
The bank staff said it was because my signature was irregular.
They said I had to go to the bank in person and verify it with my identity card and subsequent signatures.
Why couldn't the bank have simply called me and verified my identity and get my approval for the cheque?
I spoke to a bank staff member over the phone and explained that there are people with inconsistent signatures because of things like untidy handwriting, shaky hands or nerve damage.
However, she could not offer me a satisfactory solution.
A taxi driver overheard me and told me he faced the same problem - every time he issued a cheque, he had to go down to the bank to verify the transaction.
The bank's only solution was to update his signature.
He had thought of updating his signature to something non-cursive and simple, but was told this was not accepted, as it would have been easy to forge.
By insisting on a signature that is an exact match to previous one, DBS, and probably other banks, are inconveniencing customers and not catering to people who have inconsistent signatures.
I hope that there can be more flexibility.
Perhaps the customer can sign an authorisation form that permits "irregular looking" signatures, with an additional verification phone call, for each cheque.
Promote healthy family units to break cycle of offending
There are many parts to the story of intergenerational offending, from dysfunctional families to harsh punishment policies ("Her mother, aunt, grandparents are ex-cons. Can Aisyah break the cycle?"; Dec 18, The Straits Times).
Children end up victims to their parents' poor behaviour.
Knowing how we got to this point is important in understanding how we can go forward.
One factor is the inability on the part of families, society and communities to promote healthy family values.
We are aware a child who grows up in a dysfunctional family will probably propagate the destructive values as an adult. Are we doing enough to stem this?
The most effective way to promote healthy families is to ensure couples are emotionally, psychologically and financially ready to set up families.
This can be done by helping couples get jobs that offer work-life balance and financial security. They also need to understand effective parenting styles.
It is necessary to ensure that a couple's relationship remains healthy, even if one partner has to be incarcerated.
This will give rise to better parent-child relationships.
Foster parents should be the secondary support structure.
We need to get together as a society to study this problem and come up with more effective strategies. Perhaps a dedicated National Conversation can be held to look into the health of the Singapore family unit.
Unless we study the problem at a national level, we could generate more Aisyahs in the future.