Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Future of the cheque in the UK

MPs: keep the cheque in the UK after 2018

A group of UK Members of Parliament (MPs), headed by Liberal Democrat MP David Ward, has launched a campaign to ‘save’ the cheque.

On 2 November, Ward introduced a Bill that would bring cheques under the consumer protection scope of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and urged banks to re-think the proposals to abandon the cheque in 2018, introduced by the UK Payments Council (PC) in December 2009.

“[Abolishing the cheque] is a stitch-up by the banking industry, who have shirked every opportunity to modernise the system, and will be the main winners from its abolition”, Ward said on his website. “It is disgusting that a group with such vested interests in getting rid of cheques should be entrusted with this decision.”  

Ward, and a number of other MPs from different parties, have claimed that eliminating the cheque will have a major impact on small businesses and it could hit the elderly as well as visually impaired people.

Ward’s Bill will be discussed in Parliament in June 2011. In December 2009, the PC and its members voted to stop clearing cheques by 31 October 2018.

Published previously in E-Finance & Payments Law & Policy Magazine, November 2010. Copyrights apply