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Charities issue warning over cheque abolition


Plans to phase out cheques could lead to a ‘devastating’ decline in charitable donations, a fundraising body has warned.


According to the Institute of Fundraising, around 70% of donations to charity are currently made by cheque.


The organisation argues that charities with an older supporter base could lose a large proportion of donations if cheques are abolished.


‘Over six million people aged over 65 in the UK do not have access to the internet,’ said Louise Richards, director of policy at the Institute of Fundraising. ‘If they cannot give by cheque, then they will not give at all. Potentially this could have devastating consequences for charities across the board.’


In 2009 the banking industry set out proposals to end the use of cheques by 2018 after reporting a dramatic decline in the number of people using this payment method.


It was later confirmed that cheques will continue to be used until an adequate ‘paper-based’ alternative is created.


A committee of MPs is currently reviewing the plans following criticism from charities and consumer groups.


The committee's chairman, Andrew Tyrie, said he was not convinced that the use of cheques was in terminal decline.


‘The Payments Council has seemingly forgotten about the millions of people who are less at ease with the latest technology,’ he said. ‘We have been inundated by letters from the public telling us that they rely on cheques’.