Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 62, Tuesday September 13, 2005




Banking Tip

Nasreen Sattar , Head of International Sales, Standard Chartered Bank

What is the meaning of 'Opening of a Crossing' ?
If the crossing on a cheque is cancelled, it is called opening of the crossing. The cheque thereafter becomes an open cheque. Only the drawer of the cheque is entitled to open the crossing of the cheque by writing the words 'Pay Cash' and cancelling the crossing along with his full signature. His initials are not sufficient for this purpose. The paying bank must be very careful in ascertaining the validity or genuineness of the drawer's signature in opening the crossing.

If the words and figures on the face of the cheque differ how would the paying bank deal with such a cheque on presentation?
According to the Negotiable Instruments Act 'if the amount undertaken or ordered to be paid is stated differently in figures and words, the amount stated in words shall be the amount undertaken or ordered to be paid'. Thus the banker may treat the amount in words as the correct amount. However, bankers usually follow the practice of returning such cheques with the remark 'amount in words and figures differ' and seek the drawer's confirmation.

I have a Fixed Deposit Account (payable to either me or my survivor) with my sister who lives overseas. The Fixed Deposit will mature on 21st October 2005. We, however, need to encash it before maturity because we urgently need the fund. Can I sign alone to encash the FD?
If one of the joint signatories requests the banker for repayment of the fixed deposit before its date of maturity, the banker should do so only after obtaining the consent of the other joint depositor. One depositor has no right to take back the amount before its maturity. The mandate payable to either you or your survivor is intended to be applicable only at the time of maturity of the deposit. Till then it remains a joint debt, which may be withdrawn only with the consent of all of them.

If a customer loses a Fixed Deposit Receipt what should he do?
He should report to the bank the loss of the receipt and request the bank to issue a duplicate one. A Fixed Deposit receipt is not transferable and not a negotiable one. Any other person therefore cannot claim payment of the amount covered by the receipt. However, customers request the banker for the issue of a duplicate one because banks stipulate that the receipt duly discharged must be surrendered for its repayment. The banker should take the following steps in this regards:

a). A letter signed by the depositor/depositors informing the banker about the loss of the receipt and requesting it to issue a duplicate one, should be obtained.

b) A stamped letter of indemnity must be obtained from the depositor/depositors to safeguard its own interest, in case the original receipt is also presented for repayment.

I maintain an account with your bank in Dhaka, I have just been posted to Chittagong. Please let me know whether I need to open a new account there or whether I can continue with my existing account.
There is no need for you to open a new account in Chittagong. We offer online banking in all the branches we operate and you can use the same cheque book in any of the branches and do all your banking transactions.

Can you please explain to me what is a 'Spot Rate' and what is a 'Forward Rate' in foreign exchange dealing?
Spot rate in foreign exchange dealings is a rate which is fixed today and settled on the second working day after deal date, provided the markets of the respective currencies are open.

A forward rate is a rate agreed on between two parties to buy or sell currencies at an agreed future date (maturity beyond spot date) for a specified amount. Forward transactions can be either fixed or optional. The fixed forward transaction, also known as Forward Cover Contract, means the buyer takes delivery of currency only on the maturity date of the contract. The optional transaction requires the buyer to take delivery of currency, either in full or in part, any time on or before maturity of contract.

Style Files

Maheen Khan Fashion designer, Mayasir

Dear Maheen,
I like to make my own jewelry. I have been doing so for a long time. But since my arrival to Dhaka I find it very difficult to find materials which could be used for my concepts. I have moved here recently for a few years and need to make myself useful. Can you help? Please advise.

I take it that you are referring to costume jewelry. I wish we had those great bead shops like you do in the west. These shops carry beads as well as accessories which can be manipulated to create great pieces of art. Unfortunately we in Dhaka have nothing that even resembles such shops. But as an alternative there are specific places where you will need to investigate. Let me walk you through the options available here.

1. Old High Court area sells loads of terracotta pots and along with these the vendors also sell terracota beads of all sizes. These come in all imaginable long, oval, round, square, or pear shapes. I find them just divine.

2. Gausia. This is the haunt that is one of the most exciting destinations in Dhaka for trimmings, trinkets, novelty items and simply all kinds of products for embellishment. Here you can find plenty of wooden beads in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Check it out ,you won't be disappointed.

3. Chawk Bazar. This is located in old Dhaka, a whole sale market for accessories, gifts, name it. The vast majority of goods here are imported by the traders. These are sold to the retailers across the country. Here you can find colourful glass beads in great many patterns for your jewelry. I will highly recommend a visit, you will be amazed.

4. Mirpur Sector 11 is the centre for colour fast cotton and rayon threads. This is useful, as you may want coloured threads to string your jewelry.

This is a great art form for you hobby or business. It has remarkable commercial prospects in Bangladesh. I personally find the local designers work dull imitations of each other. I wish more dynamic designs were produced here, especially since there is such a demand for strung jewelry. I wish you luck, pick up your ideas and go for it.

Dear Maheen,
I am a doctor. A gynecologist to be specific. I have very long hours. My work demands that I look professional. Generally I like to wear salwer kameez. I am extremely conscious about my colour coordination and overall appearance. I consider myself tasteful. Give me a few pointers so that I can experiment.

Doctors need to be in a good spirit so that they can provide good service to their patients in a crisp clear mind. Clothes say a lot about a person especially if you are in a serious profession like medicine. You can wear dark or light colours but clothes need to be low key, not over the top with embellishment, print or shine. Your kameez could be sleeveless, cap sleeved, or short. This is because you may be required to wear a jacket for surgery during the working period. Wear a neck line that gives you a more formal look, such as a mandarin band or a shirt collar. You can also use pockets on your kameez side like a kurta pocket or patch pockets for your pens and other useful tools. This will provide additional utility to your suit. Wear short tapered trousers with your long kameez -it is practical and smart. Wear minimal jewelry and avoid bangles.

By The Way

Stress buster moves

Stress starts in the mind and accumulates all over. Run your hands through various parts of your hair, clenching down and pulling upward, slightly straining the hair at the skull. Hold this position for a moment or two. Work through the entire scalp in this way or you can ask someone else to do it for you. It is more fun when someone else is doing it.

Special Feature

Mid-Life Crisis: Fact or fiction?

*"Escaping the midlife development crisis is probably as likely as the child escaping adolescence." --Writer Jim Conway

* "Some people appear to go through calm, uneventful midlife transitions. But by the time they are in their 50s, when some life accident inevitably brings home the mortality issue, it throws them into a deeper, darker, crisis." --Author Gail Sheehy.

* "A mid-life crisis is an unreal creature of the imagination." --Researcher Arnold Kruger.

So where lies the truth? Probably some where in between these two schools of thought. For some its easier, for others hard going. But the fact is that people clamp up as soon as they hear the phrase "mid-life crisis". It is easier to get them to talk when you cite factors of the crisis such as children growing up and going away, worries about the future, inability to enjoy leisure time, a feeling that health is deteriorating, a negative evaluation of the marital relationship, a negative evaluation of work life, and stress arising from taking care of the elderly.

Talking about the upheaval in her life when she approached her 40s, a friend recalls, "When my two daughters grew up and went away, suddenly I was forced to confront the relationship with my husband and deal with the emptiness within. I realised that more than great companionship to him, I was just a habit or presence."

For a woman artist, her painting is a cushion against depression and emptiness. Yes there have been low times like the death of her mother but her art keeps her going. And there is also her love of nature--watching the cottony clouds weave different patterns in the sky, the rain that beats down on the roof or the trips outside Dhaka to locales such as Cox's Bazar and Savar.

For Rowshan Murshed (better known as Nilu), managing director of Cosmopolitan Food Ltd (which has the franchise for Wimpy) and the founder of Lavender, La Ciel ( a French restaurant and Sanmar Co ( an Italian, Chinese and Indian restaurant), the low period in her life was when her daughter got divorced. It took a lot of soul searching and positive thinking to tide over the crisis. Yet she remains philosophical. "I have learnt to take life as it comes. I don't hide from trouble," says Nilu.

Men, too have their own share of troubled times when they cross their 40s. For many the prospect of retirement is a source of worry along with the future education of their offspring. Yet many tide over the hard times. "If there is such a thing as a midlife crisis, it should be thought of as a challenge to be overcome. Put your best foot forward and leave everything else to fate," says an engineer.

Another male friend asserted that he had struggled so hard to make a living in his early days after the death of his father that he had little time to go through a crisis as he crossed his 40s.

So what's the solution? Some use meditation as a healer, while others spend their time in proximity with nature or do a lot of introspection. Whatever path they take, it is heartening to know that all is not over with a mid-life crisis.

By Kavita Charanji


This week, due to some unavoidable circumstances our regular column Under a Different Sky by Iffat Nawaz could not printed. We regret any inconvenience.


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2003 The Daily Star