Britain bounces checks after 300 years
By Elizabeth Fullerton | Reuters.com
After more than three centuries, the humble check is set to become a historic relic after British banks voted to phase it out in favor of more modern payment methods.
The board of the UK Payments Council, the body for setting payment strategy in Britain, agreed on Wednesday to set a target date of October 31, 2018 for winding up the check clearing system. The board is largely made up of Britain's leading banks.
"There are many more efficient ways of making payments than by paper in the 21st century, and the time is ripe for the economy as a whole to reap the benefits of its replacement," Paul Smee, the council chief executive, said in a statement.
The use of checks has fallen drastically in the past 10 years as more consumers transfer money electronically, by direct debit or with debit and credit cards. Last year, around 3.8 million checks were written every day in Britain, compared to a peak of 10.9 million in 1990, the council said.
It costs about one pound to process every check.
"The next generation probably won't even have a checkbook," said Addy Frederick, a spokeswoman at the payments council.
But while many UK supermarkets, high street retailers and petrol stations have stopped accepting checks, they are still a popular form of payment among elderly people, many of whom find the idea of using automated cash machines intimidating.
"Chip and pin is problematic for many older and housebound people and we know 6.4 million over 65s have never used the internet," said Vicky Smith, a spokeswoman for the charity Age Concern.
"Without checks, we are very concerned people will be forced to keep large amounts of cash in their home, leaving them vulnerable to theft and financial abuse."
Harriet Harman, deputy leader of the ruling Labour Party, said on Wednesday the authorities must take care not to discriminate against the elderly in making their decision.
"We need to look to the future but make sure that older people don't suffer as a result," she told parliament.
The council said checks would be phased out gradually, making sure consumers had access to user-friendly alternatives and that the needs of elderly and vulnerable groups were met. A review will take place in 2016 before checks are finally abolished.
The Federation of Small Businesses said it was disappointed by the decision. "It's something that's going to impact heavily on small businesses and their customers," said spokeswoman Sophie Kummer.
Checks have all but disappeared in high-tech countries like Sweden and Norway and their use is under review in Ireland, South Africa and Australia, Frederick at the council said.
The oldest surviving check in Britain was written in 1659, according to the council and made out for 400 pounds (equivalent to around 42,000 pounds today). It was signed by Nicholas Vanacker, made payable to a Mr Delboe and drawn on Messrs Morris and Clayton, scriveners and bankers of the City of London.
In those days, checks would have been exchanged informally in coffee houses. It was not until 1833 that the first clearing house was built in London to exchange checks.
Article from: Reuters.com
Nick Rosen - Going Off-Grid, How to Escape the Big Brother System
Marta Andreasen MEP - Brussels laid Bare, Financial Fraud within the European Union
Catherine Austine Fitts - Swine Flu, Vaccination & The Economy
Ellen Brown - The Web of Debt & The Manufactured Financial Crash
Ellen Brown - Bank for International Settlements, Global Tax & The Basel Accords (Subscription)
David Icke - The Lisbon Treaty & The Corrupt European Union
A.j. Bruno - Living Outside the New World Order Grid
John Harris - Illusion, Common and Commercial Law & the Ego
Niki Raapana - Communitarian Ideology & "Big Mother"
The Steady Rise of Islamic Finance - Gambling and Interest (Usury) Free Banking
Baron David de Rothschild sees a New World Order in global banking governance
Congressional Record, 1908: Monopoly Men Take Over Banking
The Illuminati and the House of Rothschild
The "Ugly" Cause of World War Two
Latest News from our Front Page
West’s tributes to late Saudi King reveal hypocrisy not democracy
Hypocrisy is not usually regarded as a virtue of leadership, yet judging by the gushing tributes paid to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah by various Western governments and establishment figures on his death, there are those who believe it should be.
In the UK this hypocrisy has been stretched to breaking point with the decision to fly the flags over Downing ...
Millions of GMO insects could be set loose in Florida Keys
Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases.
Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood.
"This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease," said Michael Doyle, executive ...
Furguson Scared The Super - Rich So Bad They're Planning Exits
According to a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ferguson and Occupy absolutely terrified the world’s super-rich, and now they’re buying airstrips and farms in remote locations to escape to.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which was held between January 21-24, over 2,500 leaders in the fields of business, international politics, academia and journalism met to discuss ...
The Ring Of The Nibelungs
Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King (also known as Ring of the Nibelungs, Die Nibelungen, Curse of the Ring, and Sword of Xanten) is a 2004 German television film directed by Uli Edel and starring Benno Fürmann, Alicia Witt, Kristanna Loken, and Max von Sydow. The film is based on the Norse mythology story Völsungasaga and the German epic poem Nibelungenlied, ...
Google Street View Shows NAACP Bombing a Hoax
Caught in the act: NAACP passing off old soot marks as new in ‘bomb’ hoax
NAACP Colorado Chapter President Henry D. Allen Jr. has been caught in the act of passing off old soot marks as new damage from the recent ‘explosion’ at the Colorado Springs chapter headquarters.
Although Gotnews.com has previously remarked on the minimal damage as reported by the ...
|More News » |