I am an Berlin based artist and I was going to participate in an event in the US in March. Due Covid-19 the festival got cancelled but the organization sent me a US check from the JP Morgan & Chase Bank in US Dollars.

Few days ago I went to a Deutsche Bank office and they told me without seeing the check they were not able to do it since a new law was passed in April.

Can someone with some experience tell me how can I cash my check that expires in September. I don't mind opening an account.

  • 3
    Did the teller told you what was the new law about? I cannot find anything EU or EU-US regulations that would affect cashing a check. Usually you go to your bank, "deposit" the check, wait 2 weeks and have money appear on your account. Jul 6, 2020 at 12:53
  • @SZCZERZOKŁY: ... if the fees left any money to appear, that is... Jul 6, 2020 at 22:13
  • 1
    I sometimes cash US checks at my Commerzbank office with no problems (and a steep fee, something like 20 EUR), though admittedly not since last April. Cashing checks is a very foreign concept in Germany. I can't shake the suspicion that your DB teller simply didn't want to deal with the hassle... Jan 20, 2021 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


I'd go and check the fees of several banks (Preis- und Leistungsverzeichnis) since they vary substantially.

I checked a few right now, and there is no indication of any such new regulation. One list contains a reminder that for foreign checks above 12.5 k€ you have some reporting duties for foreign trade statistics (but that is nothing new).

I'd also go back to Deutsche Bank and try again and if they don't take it, insist on them showing you exactly why they refuse (what regulation).

The Preis- und Leistungsverzeichnis of the Deutsche Bank for private customers does list fees for depositing foreign bank/foreign currency checks. There is indication that they have 2 modes, one where the value appears immediately on your acount but you cannot access that money until they actually got the money from the other bank, and one where the money appears on your account only after they actually got it from the other bank. The second mode is even more expensive (foreign check deposit fee 25 € or 0.15 % of the value, whatever is higher, postage fee 3,10 € plus any other fees they encounter) than the first, and for US$ only the second mode is available.

For business customers, prices may be different (and typically not lower). Also, I'm not sure whether a bank could have a service contract with you that excludes handling of checks - I wouldn't exclude this possibility. But that would be their service conditions rather than regulation or law.

  • 1
    there are huge differences in fees between banks, you can find them between 0 (zero) fees, and 25 € or more plus currency conversion fees of 3%+ - so do your homework and save! Deutsche Bank is not known for being cheap or flexible.
    – Aganju
    Jul 8, 2020 at 1:58

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