Committee to reopen cheques inquiry

Banks were accused today of ignoring the needs of millions of vulnerable people by pressing ahead with plans to phase out cheques.





The Treasury Select Committee said it was reopening its inquiry into the future of cheques as a result of continuing public concern over plans to abolish them by 2018.



The UK Payments Council, which is made up of the major banks, announced in 2009 that cheques would no longer be used by October 2018, as long as viable alternatives had been developed.



But the committee, which held an inquiry into the issue last year, said it was unconvinced by the Payment Council's argument that cheques were "in terminal decline".



Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie said: "The Payments Council has seemingly forgotten about the millions of people who are less at ease with the latest technology.



"We have been inundated by letters from the public telling us that they rely on cheques. Many charities, small business and vulnerable people - including pensioners - depend on cheques.



"Their needs must be considered. They should not be forced into shredding their cheque books."



He added that he was "shocked" that the Payments Council had not conducted a rigorous cost benefit analysis of its plan and called on it to "go away and do some number crunching".



The reopened inquiry will look at trends in cheque usage over time, including projections on the number that will be written in the next five to 10 years.



It will also focus on the advantages and disadvantages of abolishing them and the impact this would have on particular groups, such as pensioners.



Other areas that will be looked into include the costs and benefits of abolishing cheques, progress on the development of alternatives and the Payment Council's decision to close the cheque guarantee scheme this summer.



The committee will also be examining the structure and performance of the Payments Council, looking at whether it is sufficiently accountable for the way its decisions impact on consumers and how well it is delivering on its core objectives.



Age UK, welcomed the committee's decision, saying it had heard from many older people who were "really worried" about the issue and did not know how they would cope without cheques.



Michelle Mitchell, charity director at Age UK, said: "Scrapping cheques without there being a suitable replacement is not acceptable.



"If you find it difficult to leave the house, then cheques are often crucial in allowing you to pay bills securely and safely.



"Taking that option away could leave many vulnerable older people with no choice but to hand over their Pin numbers and cash cards to others, going against all the guidance given by banks."



The Payments Council said it welcomed the opportunity to update the committee on the work that needed doing before it took a final decision on abolishing cheques in 2016.



Richard North, chairman of the Payments Council, said: "We remain committed to being fully transparent and to keep consulting with those who still rely on cheques.



"This inquiry enables us to reassure consumers and businesses that cheques will not disappear unless we deliver on our commitments to make sure that acceptable alternatives are in place and available."

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Sport
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier leaguePlus updates from Everton vs Palace
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Sport
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

    £400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

    Market Risk & Control Manager

    Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

    SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

    £320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

    Head of Audit

    To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam