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Cheques to be abolished

17 December 2009

Cheques will no longer be valid in the UK nine years from now, it has been confirmed.

The UK Payments Council board has said the devices - which have been in use for centuries - will no longer be cleared after October 31st 2018.

While noting that the use of cheques has fallen by 40 per cent since 1990, the body recognised that many people and businesses still utilise them and said it "will seek to promote and explain existing alternatives".

Council chairman Paul Smee said the finance industry will have to work hard over the next nine years to ensure a "viable" option exists for those who would otherwise use a cheque.

This could mean changes to current accounts, with new facilities emerging to make it easier to pay bills in other ways.

Liberal Democrat MP Mark Hunter condemned the decision, saying that a large number of people "will be massively inconvenienced" by the ban.

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