03/04/2012 03:32 EST | Updated 05/04/2012 05:12 EDT

Ted Menzies: Personal Cheques Can't Be Held By Banks For Over 4 Days, Conservatives Say

OTTAWA - The Conservatives are making good on a two-year-old budget promise by ensuring banks can't hold personal cheques for more than four business days before freeing up the funds.

Ted Menzies, the junior finance minister, has announced several consumer-friendly changes that were promised by the federal government as far back as the 2010 budget.

In addition to ensuring that cheques under $1,500 can't be held more than four days.

The changes ensure that cheques worth less than $100 must be cashed immediately in person or reimbursed the following day if deposited in a bank machine.

Banks also will no longer be able to send out unsolicited credit card cash advances under the new rules, which come into force this August.

The government also announced a new code of conduct for mortgage lenders first promised in 2010.

The voluntary measures include having financial institutions inform their customers how they can pay down their mortgages faster without wracking up penalties.

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