ABU DHABI // Bank customers must be careful while writing and signing cheques to avoid penalties that can include jail, according to Abu Dhabi Police. Speaking yesterday at a banking workshop, Lt Col Abdulwahab al Hosani, head of investigations at the capital police section, said banks often make customers sign blank cheques when they apply for loans in a bid to speed up applications. "Some people are in a hurry to get the loan to buy a car or property, so they sign without even knowing the conditions", said Lt Col al Hosani. "Some banks would then issue monthly cheques for that person, which he or she cannot pay, and result in a number of bouncing cheques. A person could go to jail because of bounced cheques." Ismail al Bloushi, a senior official at the UAE Central Bank, said there were fewer returned cheques this year. When the economy was booming people used cheques more. In the past four months, out of 9,742,073 cheques issued, almost six per cent were returned, less than last year, police say. The bank will try to resolve the issue if a cheque bounces, and refer it to police if they fail. The police may also try to find a solution before going to court. The Central Bank closes accounts with more than four returned cheques a year, and keeps a blacklist of customers with a history of bouncing cheques. firstname.lastname@example.org
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