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My Chase account requires that the amount I wire (either international or domestic) should have been in my account for at least 10 days. Is this a requirement for all the banks or only for Chase? Why might there be this kind of restriction?

The amount I am trying to wire is $20000.

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This is a reasonable requirement which many banks probably have. The reason is that after you deposit a check, ACH or direct deposit - they may be reversed after a couple of days (check bounced, payment canceled, etc). If you wire the money out, and then the check by which you got the money gets bounced - the bank is left hanging because money wired out is very hard to return. Wire transfers are generally irreversible unless its a mistake in the wire.

After 10 days, these transactions cannot be reversed and the money is bound to remain on the account, so you can wire it out.

By the way, it also goes for cashier's checks as well, I had a similar discussion with my banker (don't remember if it was WF or Chase) when I needed one based on a ACH transfer from my savings account elsewhere. They gave me the check, but said that its because I proved that the transfer was from my own account.

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This also helps prevent the bank from becoming involved in money laundering and other criminal investigations. The investigations tend to cost the bank money too not to mention the bad press. So banks enact policies that inhibit illegal use of their services for nefarious purposes. The fact that they can make money on the money while it is in the account is an added bonus –  user4127 Oct 7 '11 at 17:26
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Has nothing to do with money laundering whatsoever, the only thing it comes to prevent is sting operations where people deposit bad checks and cash out before the checks cleared. –  littleadv Oct 7 '11 at 18:08
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Actually it does help. There are schemes with money laundering where the idea is to move the money around quickly through many different banks so that the money is withdrawn before it can be traced. A 10 day (or even 3 day) hold slows it down making the bank unattractive for these types of activities. –  user4127 Oct 7 '11 at 18:27
    
you can wire out money wired in the same day. –  littleadv Oct 7 '11 at 19:06
    
Sometimes it looks like banks don't enforce this if you have enough other funds to cover the withdrawal. For example, if you have $30K in CDs, the bank is at little risk if they wire out a $20K transfer. They'll prevent you from cashing out the CDs, but often it looks like you've withdrawn the money right away. –  Alex B Oct 16 '13 at 17:32
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