MPs criticise banks for attempting to scrap cheques

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The Independent Online

MPs are battling banks' plans to abolish cheques. A Treasury Select Committee has warned banks not to attempt to abandon cheques by stealth or deter customers from using cheques. It has also recommended that the Payments Council be brought under regulatory control to stop its "unfettered power to decide the future of cheques".

Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the committee, said: "The Payments Council is an industry-dominated body with no effective public accountability. It should not have unfettered power to take decisions on matters such as the future of cheques, that are of vital importance to millions of people. Banks have given customers the impression that the abolition of cheques was a foregone conclusion. This type of behaviour is unacceptable."

The Committee also demanded that the council think about re-introducing cheque guarantee cards.

Gary Hocking of the Payments Council said: "We don't believe increased regulation is required." He said the council is about to research the impact of the closure of the cheque-guarantee scheme.