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    Regulation

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    Mr007

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    Regulation

    Post by Mr007 on Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:44 am



    People who need to use cheques can continue doing so.
    Continue reading the main story
    Guaranteed cheques

    * In 2010, 60 million cheques were written with the number on the back
    * Only 22 million guaranteed cheques were valid - 3.5% of the total number of cheques written
    * In 1990, 1.2 billion guaranteed cheques were written

    Source: Payments Council

    However, in its report on the future of cheques, published in August, the Treasury Committee demanded a rethink of the abolition of the cheque guarantee card.

    This was echoed by watchdog Consumer Focus and charities such as Age UK.

    The Payments Council said it was already conducting a review of the abolition of the scheme, the results of which would be available by the end of the year.

    "If so indicated by the research, we will revisit the business case for the closure of the scheme," the Council said in its response to the committee's report, published on Wednesday.

    However, it said that many retailers had stopped accepting cheques, not because of the end of the guarantee scheme, but because customers no longer used chequebooks.

    At this stage it appears that an alternative scheme would be more likely than the return of the cheque guarantee system in its old form.

    A Council spokeswoman said that a similar scheme could emerge from making the processing of cheques more efficient.

    Meanwhile, the government said it would consider bringing the Payments Council, which is unregulated, under the umbrella of financial regulation. It will consult on the options in early 2012.

    Treasury Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie said: "[This] is good news for millions of people who want to keep their cheque books. It will also offer consumers some protection against being bounced by the Payments Council into other changes that would disadvantage them."

    The Payments Council said it had no issue with engaging in the regulation debate.

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