MP Welcomes Reprieve For Cheques

Our islands’ Member of Parliament, Andrew George, says he’s pleased that a plan to scrap the use of cheque books in 2018 is being reversed but warns that banks may try to remove them in other ways.

The UK Payments Council, the body made up of all the major banks, now say that cheque books will continue as long as people need them.

But Andrew George says islanders should be vigilant to ensure they don’t phase them out through the back door. He says they will no doubt make it more difficult to use them and close down the system by stealth.

The news makes little difference to one of our biggest businesses. Jackie Hayman of the Steamship Company says they received very few cheques now anyway.

The number of cheques banked by the Town Hall has also fallen since the Council has started online banking. This year 12% of payments are by cheque and 88% are bank transactions whereas three years ago it was “all cheques”.

Peter Lawrence from the Council’s Finance Department says he’s overseen a real drive to get as many payments as possible made electronically, although, he says, the Council recognise that there are some people who would still prefer to pay by cheque

But holiday lettings agency, Island Properties, still use the method of payment for around 90% of visitor transactions, according to Tony Dingley.

And he says from his experience of running Seaview Moorings, very few small businesses would wish to pay commission charges when switching to credit cards.

Maureen Carter of the St Mary’s Women’s Institute says she’s delighted cheques have been saved and that was one of their national objectives. She says the system works well for charities, where you have to have two people to sign off expenditure.