New Cheque Books

Protecting our clients

New cheque books to keep the fraudsters in check

Given the rise of the cashless society, you would be forgiven in thinking that cheques have been consigned to banking’s history. Yet cheque fraud is rising, whether it be via counterfeits, forged signatures or altered cheques. Last year, the amount of fraud rose to its highest level for more than 10 years, which is why we are issuing new cheque books that embrace the latest fraud detection technology.

We are aware that fewer bank customers are using cheques as we move towards an increasingly cashless society. We are introducing Apple Pay with our new debit cards to give you a more secure and safe way to pay that helps you avoid handing your payment card to someone else. However, we know many of you still prefer to use cheques when and where you can. You are not alone. It is estimated that more than a third of UK consumers continue to use cheques, while the number of businesses and charities that count on their cheque books and pens to pay is even higher.

How are cheques processed?

It wasn’t too long ago that it used to take several days for cheques to clear from your account as they were physically exchanged through clearing houses. Today, most cheques are processed through the clearing system as digital images. This is convenient for consumers paying in cheques and has led to faster clearing times, but it is proving equally convenient for fraudsters who have found ways to manipulate and duplicate cheque images.

How we protect our clients

From 3 November 2020, we will be introducing, and phasing in, new cheque books that are encrypted with unique codes to counter fraud. These codes can only be decrypted by the Bank’s clearing system and any suspect cheques will be stopped immediately, pending an investigation.

What action should you take?

Meanwhile, do continue to use any remaining cheques and you will receive the new-style cheque book the next time you are sent one. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Bank Helpdesk on +44 (0)1933 543 543 or email [email protected].


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