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Abolition of cheques

Volume 531: debated on Monday 18 July 2011

The Petition of Dr H. Gilthorpe and others,

Declares that the Petitioners are profoundly concerned by the abolition of cheques.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to encourage the Payments Council to reverse the decision to abolish cheques and maintain them as a method of payment for the foreseeable future

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr Nicholas Brown, Official Report, 13 July 2011; Vol. 531, c. 425 .]


Observations from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Treasury:

The Government thank Dr Gilthorpe and the other signatories for their petition on the potential abolition of cheques.

The Payments Council is responsible for the proposal to phase out cheques. The Payments Council announced on 12 July 2011 that cheques will continue for as long as customers need them. A previously announced target for closing the cheque clearing system by 2018 has been cancelled.

The Government are pleased that the Payments Council has responded to public opinion by committing to maintain cheque services for as long as customers need them. This decision reflects the view expressed by the Financial Secretary in a letter to the Treasury Select Committee on 14 June 2011, and in discussions with the Payments Council, that cheques should not be withdrawn until the alternatives were widely available and accepted.