MPs kept up the pressure for the return of cheque guarantee cards by suggesting that the Government could consider stepping in with legislation.
The Payments Council, whose members include Britain’s biggest banks, abandoned the cheque guarantee card in late June due to declining use before reneging on plans to end the use of cheques altogether.
The Treasury Select Committee published a report on the future of cheques in August.
It warned that without a guarantee scheme or alternative mechanism, cheques could “wither on the vine” due to the risk of shops and other bodies refusing to accept them without knowing whether or not they will bounce.
The Payments Council is set to publish research into the impact of the closure of the cheque card guarantee scheme, which will be concluded before the end of the year.
It promised: “If so indicated by the research, we will revisit the business case for the closure of the scheme.”
But in a document publishing responses to the report, the select committee said the Payments Council should provide more details about its research and on the decision-making process.
It said: “The Government threatened to legislate to preserve cheques prior to the Payments Council’s change of heart.
“When the Payments Council’s report is to hand, the Government may wish to consider whether intervention on the guarantee card is also warranted.”
Campaigners for older people, who are less likely to use methods such as internet banking, have been fighting for the return of the cheque guarantee card.
Michelle Mitchell, charity director of Age UK, said: “This report is a strong signal to the Government to ensure that banks listen and protect what is an essential method of payment for many older peo- ple.”