The end of Cheques? - Treasury Contents

Written evidence submitted by D E Freeman

  After the pronouncement by the banks to cease handling cheques in a few years time, I think it is appropriate to inform you that I object to the phasing out of this form of payment.

  Cheques are the safest way of making payment in this now rather complex and unruly country. Not everyone has or wants a computer facility. Cheques are much safer for the public. Technology systems have a weakness where safety is concerned. It has become more and more difficult for the public to communicate with all sorts of providers and companies. Just look at computer generated correspondence. The machine spews out the same letter time and time again. When the public telephone these organisations, it is difficult to speak to a human being and when you do, they often cannot find your records, they say that any problem will be put right, but the reality is that it usually is not.

  Last year the AA of which I had membership and arranged all my various insurances, failed to find my car insurance details resulting in my having to arrange emergency cover through an insurance agency in my village of Hingam. I paid by cheque. It was too dangerous to be in a position of not being properly insured.

  The amazing thing is that I had been an AA subscriber for very many years. It appeared my car insurance details were not on the new computer system. The operative could not access any details from the old system. Needless to say I have cancelled my AA membership subscription and I do not intend to use their services again.

  I give you all this information because there is a message that needs to be put across to your Committee. The systems that have been set up in this country in the last several years are too often "User Unfriendly". All the information a customer user requires to know is held by the provider and that provider often cannot or will not produce that information.

  With a bank issued cheque book the public have the best way to ensure they have a record of their money transactions. Direct debits are nice for the companies and banks, but are a step away from the customer/user keeping control of his or her own money.

  Finally if processing cheques is a cost to banks, the problems of not having cheque payment facilities for the public is not only a cost to them but a dangerous headache, which leaves them very vulnerable to loss and manipulation.

February 2010

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2010
Prepared 16 April 2010