Understanding your balance.

Your balance is the current gross amount held within your account. Your available balance is the amount you currently have available to spend, taking into account the amount of money in your account, any recent transactions not yet cleared and any planned overdraft. Various circumstances may cause a difference between your balance and available balance. These are explained below:


Recent debit card purchases

Your available balance shows recent debit card payments before we have fully processed (cleared) the payments.  This means we have set aside from your account the money recently spent on your card before the seller actually takes it.  When the money leaves your account, your balance will be reduced, but your available balance will stay the same, as we have already adjusted it to show the payments.


Paying in cash and cheques

Type of paymentWhere paid inWhen your funds are available to withdraw
Cash In branch or using an Immediate Deposit Machine before 5pm, or using an Express Pay-In before 4pm Same day
In branch or using an Immediate Deposit Machine after 5pm, or using an Express Pay-In after 4pm Next working day
In branch or using an Immediate Deposit Machine or Express Pay-In on a non-working day Same day
Via a cash machine Next working day

The Future of Cheques

From 30 October 2017, a new 'Cheque Imaging' clearing process will be introduced for all banks in the UK. This will run alongside the existing '2-4-6' clearing process. The clearing process used will depend on which bank a cheque is deposited with, and the method of deposit.

We will introduce Cheque Imaging gradually, enabling quicker and more convenient ways of depositing cheques, such as via the Mobile Banking app. This is because instead of exchanging physical cheques, banks will  exchange digital images of cheques. In time, the '2-4-6' clearing process will be withdrawn altogether and all sterling cheques will be cleared on the  next working day.

A quicker clearing time also means that when you have written a cheque, money will leave your account sooner than it does under the '2-4-6'  clearing process. You should always ensure you have sufficient funds in your account prior to writing a cheque. 

Cheque Clearing

The table below explains what happens while the cheque is being ‘cleared’ (collected from the other bank). We use one of the two clearing processes:

  • The ‘2-4-6’ process
  • The ‘Cheque Imaging’ process

How the 2-4-6 process works

If you pay a sterling cheque into your account through a Halifax branch on a Monday, you will see it in your account the same day. It counts towards any interest on Wednesday (2 working days), you can use the money on Friday (4 working days), and we cannot take the payment out of your account after the following Tuesday (6 working days).

Cheque Clearing ProcessWhen will the payment affect any interest or reward payments you get or daily overdraft fee you pay?When will the payment be available to use?When can the cheque be returned unpaid?
Cheques paid in using the 2-4-6 clearing process at a Halifax/Bank of Scotland:
  • Branch counter
  • Cash machine that accepts cheque payments in
  • Express Pay-In (if available)
  • Depositpoint (if available)
  • IDM (if available)
From the second working day after we receive the cheque. From the fourth working day after we receive the cheque.

Up to the end of the sixth working day after we receive it even if you have already spent it. It may put you into overdraft.

From then on we cannot take money from your account if the cheque is returned unpaid without your consent, unless fraud has taken place.

How the Cheque Imaging process will work

If you pay a sterling cheque into your account on a Monday, you will see it in your account the same day. It counts towards any interest and you can use the money on Tuesday by 11:59pm at the latest.

Cheque Clearing ProcessWhen will the payment affect any interest or reward payments you get or daily overdraft fee you pay?When will the payment be available to use?When can the cheque be returned unpaid?
Cheques paid in using the Cheque Imaging process By 11.59pm on the working day after we receive the cheque. From 11.59pm on the working day after we receive the cheque, at the latest. Up to 11.59pm on the working day after we receive the cheque.

Planned overdraft

Your available balance includes any planned overdraft. Your available balance will be the credit balance in your account, plus the amount of any planned overdraft.

For more information, please call 0345 720 3040 (lines are open 24 hours a day seven days a week).


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