New cheque checks

The longstanding custom of writing cheques made payable only to a bank or a building society is set to change at the end of September.

Instead, many banks are to begin requiring additional details about the beneficiary of a cheque, such as a name or an account number.

The new procedures, which were agreed by the finance industry last year, will help to prevent stolen cheques being cashed, said the British Bankers Association (BBA).

“The new arrangements reflect the importance that financial institutions place on fraud prevention,” said Ian Mullen, chief executive of the BBA.

“Although the instances where fraud has occurred in these particular circumstances are fortunately few, it is crucial that the industry continues to make life for the criminal as difficult as possible.

“The new measures are simple, but provide additional security when a cheque is made payable to an institution such as a bank or building society and follow good practice guidance that is included in the Banking Code.”

The new measures will not be applied to cheques paid out to personal and business customers

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