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338.8 - Checks Payable Only by Foreign Banks

This Chapter provides special instructions for the preparation of SF 215, Deposit Ticket, and the transmittal of checks payable only at foreign banks.


OPR:  Office of Administration and Enterprise Information/Office of Accounting and Financial Management

Instruction:  This SM is updated to reflect current guidance and replaces the one dated February 22, 1991.

1.  Purpose.  This Chapter provides special instructions for the preparation of SF 215, Deposit Ticket, and the transmittal of checks payable only at foreign banks.  (See SM 338.1 for general instructions on collections and deposits.)

2.  References.

A.  SM 338.1, Collection and Deposit.

B.  DOI Cash Management Handbook, Chapter 8, Foreign Transactions.

C.  Treasury Financial Manual, Volume 1, Part 5, Chapter 6000, Disposition of Foreign Currency and Checks Drawn on Foreign Banks.

3.  Policy.  Payments to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are sometimes drawn on foreign banks and branches of U.S. banks (hereafter, foreign checks), whether drawn payable in U.S. dollars or in a foreign currency.  These checks are to be received, deposited, and accounted for in accordance with procedures established by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury).  When possible, payments should be required to be drawn on U.S. financial institutions located in the U.S.

4. Responsibilities.

A.  The Office of Accounting and Financial Management is responsible for ensuring that the collection, deposit, and accounting of checks drawn on foreign banks is in accordance with the Treasury guidelines and that those procedures are adhered to throughout the USGS.

B.  Collection Officers are responsible for transmitting each foreign check, accompanied by an original SF 215, to the proper place of deposit (see SM 338.8.5 below).

5.  Place of Deposit.  Foreign checks will be forwarded to the Citibank for deposit at the following address:

Global Check Collections     

1 Penn’s Way
Opts 1 Second Floor 
New Castle, DE  19720

6.  Deposit Procedures.

A.  Checks Drawn on Foreign Banks Payable in United States Dollars.  The foreign check will be deposited into OTCnet, and the single SF 215 that is generated will accompany all U.S. dollar foreign checks forwarded to the depositary on the same day as the deposit was created in OTCnet.  A considerable period of time, frequently a number of weeks, is required to collect the proceeds of many checks of this type.  Therefore, notwithstanding the fact that the entire amount of the SF 215 has been credited in OTCnet upon receipt, agencies should be aware that they may receive an SF 5515, Debit Voucher, in connection with uncollectible checks or collection charges on these items, some considerable period of time after the deposit was confirmed.

EXCEPTION: Checks drawn on foreign banks in U.S. dollars, which are payable through a bank in the U.S. and Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) encoded with the U.S. banks American Bankers’ Association (ABA) routing symbol at the foot on the left side of the check, will not be deposited with the Citibank.  These checks will be included with the depositor's regular deposits made to a local depositary or Federal Reserve Bank (see SM 338.1.7).

B.  Checks Drawn on Foreign Banks Payable in Foreign Currency.  A separate SF 215 will accompany each foreign currency foreign check forwarded to the depositary.  The SF 215 will be completed as prescribed in SM 338.1.8, except the amount will be left blank.  Upon collection of the item, Citibank will enter the U.S. dollar value on the corresponding SF 215 and process online in OTCnet.

7.  Uncollected Checks and Collection Charges.  The amounts of checks returned as uncollectible, exchange fees, or any other collection charges incident to the collection of these foreign items will be charged back to the USGS through Citibank’s execution of an SF 5515, Debit Voucher.

8.  Records Maintenance.  A description of each check must be maintained to permit duplication if any check becomes lost, destroyed, or mutilated.  Such a record will include for each check the amount; name and address of the drawer; name and address of the bank on which the check is drawn; date drawn; name of the person from whom received (if other than the drawer); and number (if cashier's check or similar item).  Adequate records are to be maintained in order to provide identification through an audit trail.

9.  Foreign Currencies.  USGS will transmit foreign currency by letter to the Chief, Paying and Receiving Division, Cash Department, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 33 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10045, accompanied by certificates of deposit.  Only one type of foreign currency may be included in the same certificate.

A.  The letter will contain:

(1)  Specific instructions to sell the enclosed currency and credit the dollar proceeds in OTCnet.

(2)  A description of each currency including name of the foreign country, medium of exchange, and foreign currency amount.

B.  The accompanying certificates of deposit will be completed by the agency in the usual manner, except that the U.S. dollar amount will be left blank.  The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, upon sale of the currency, will enter the amount of the net dollar proceeds on the certificate of deposit, give dollar credit in OTCnet, and distribute the confirmed certificate of deposit copies under established procedures.


/s/ Diane K. Wade                                                                                     March 27, 2013
_______________________________________________              ____________________ 
Diane K. Wade                                                                                           Date
Associate Director for Administration and Enterprise Information
and Acting Associate Director for Human Capital