The end of Cheques? - Treasury Contents

Written evidence submitted by Philip Matthew FCA

  I am delighted that you are to enquire into the proposed abolition of cheques. There are many instances in which a written "instruction to pay" is required, and I do not believe that satisfactory non-written alternatives will be available in the foreseeable future. My suspicion is that the banks would like to come up with something "new", let us call it a "bank payment instruction", they would tell us all what a great innovation it is and, by the way, the fee is, say, £5.00 per transaction.

  My use of cheques is by no means unusual, and includes:

    1. Sending birthday and Christmas presents, around £200 each, to my great-nephew and great-niece, who live 300 miles away.

    2. Paying traders for work done at the house—gardeners, plumbers, electricians etc.

    3. As treasurer of a Probus club (a club for mainly-retired business and professional people) receiving payment for our monthly lunches from those attending on each occasion.

  I use internet banking regularly, I am not a technophobe, but none of internet banking, plastic cards or cash would be appropriate to these circumstances, or to many other circumstances which thousands of other bank customers encounter every day.

  Cheques are a necessary public service which the banks must not be allowed to take from us.

February 2010

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