Payments Council assures sector that cheques will not go before 2018

Council tells umbrella groups it will hold workshops for charities concerned by the phase-out

Banks will not phase out cheques before 2018, the Payments Council has assured sector umbrella groups.

The organisation's chief executive, Paul Smee, held separate meetings with representatives from the Charity Finance Directors' Group and the Institute of Fundraising last week about its plan to phase out the use of cheques on October 31, 2018.

The IoF had expressed concerns that cheques might be phased out before that date.

Smee told both groups that he would arrange workshops with charities later this year at which they could raise their concerns. The council has pledged to hold a review in 2016 before a final decision is taken.

Louise Richards, director of policy and campaigns at the institute, said she had given the Payments Council a "robust idea" of the sector's concerns. She said she would arrange a meeting with charities and umbrella groups to discuss what they wanted from an alternative to cheques.

Angela Haynes, policy manager at the CFDG, said the organisation had agreed to help the Payments Council to identify alternatives. "We will make every effort to ensure charities' needs are protected," she said.

A Payments Council spokeswoman said the decline in cheques would have happened regardless of its 2018 target for phasing them out. "We want to make sure the alternatives meet the needs of charities," she said.

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