South Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed news that the Royal Bank of Scotland's new boss has agreed to protect the cheque.
The new Chief Executive Brian Hartzer, who has taken over Royal Bank of Scotland's high-street network, has pledging to resist the abolition of the cheque even though most of the rest of the banking industry wants to end it.
The Payments Council, an organisation comprised of all the major high street banks, made the decision last November to phase out the use of cheques in Britain by 2018, despite the fact that nearly four million cheques are issued each day. These plans would hit the elderly, disabled and housebound the hardest as well as affecting thousands of businesses and charity organisations. A survey by Saga found that 76% of over-50s disagreed with the industry's attempts to get rid of cheques.
Tim has sent 50,000 Save the Cheque petitions to people throughout Westmorland and has secured over 2000 signatures from local people.
Hartzer told the Observer "…alternatives to the cheque were not being designed quickly enough, leaving small businesses and charities without a much-needed form of finance." Further emphasising the case Tim has been making against the abolition of the cheque.
Commenting today Tim said: "I welcome RBS' decision but it is actions that make the difference, not words. I think the plans made by the banks to eradicate the cheque are ridiculous and extremely unfair as it is clearly still an important means of paying for goods and services for many people - especially older citizens. It is important the government reminds banks that it is their duty to serve their customers not the other way around."
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