Plans to phase out cheques could get reprieve

The NFU has welcomed a decision to re-open the inquiry into plans to phase out cheques by 2018.

The Commons Treasury Select Committee said that since the last inquiry into the plans in February 2010, it had been “inundated” by letters of concern from people reliant on cheques, such as charities and small businesses.

NFU economic adviser James Edwards said the reopening of the inquiry came at a critical time, as the removal of the guarantee element of the cheque was due in just two months’ time (30 June) – after this it will not be possible to guarantee a cheque under the scheme.

“A significant proportion of our members are concerned about the withdrawal of the cheque and alternatives have not yet become part of many farm businesses,” he said.

“The set-up and transaction costs for small businesses to implement ‘chip and pin’ often make it a very expensive option. Furthermore, several brands rely on internet connectivity, which is still an issue in many rural areas.”

To collate more evidence for the inquiry, the NFU is urging members to complete this year’s banking survey, which includes a payment method section.


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