MY BANK wrote to me recently to tell me that the cheque guarantee card scheme is closing.
This means that any cheque an individual accepts may be returned unpaid if the person signing the cheque does not have enough money in their account to cover the payment.
This is the thin end of the wedge.
The letter goes on to list alternatives to cheques – debit, credit, charge cards; online banking; telephone banking; cash.
It concludes by saying ‘you can continue to accept cheques... but can’t rely on the guarantee’.
This is all part of the banks’ plan to get rid of cheques in a few years time. It is another illustration of how the quality of service from our banks has deteriorated in recent years.
Charities, small businesses, sole traders and a huge number of elderly people use cheques and rely on them to conduct their affairs.
Many of them will not have access to on line banking, will not trust debit/credit cards and will not want to have large amounts of cash around.
If your readers feel strongly about this I hope they will write to our MPs stating their concern and asking for this rush to get rid of cheques to be halted until the effect on many users has been properly assessed. If the banks are determined to phase them out, it must be done over a much longer period of time.
Dr GEOFFREY RICHARDSON
Tennyson Close, Horsham