January 7, 2010 12:00 AM

Responding to the growing concerns across the Third Sector over the likely impact of the Payments Council's decision to phase-out cheques by the end of 2018, Jenny Willott, Liberal Democrat Charities Spokesperson, said:

"Phasing-out the cheque will be a serious problem of the third sector.

"While the cheque may be slowly declining as a form of payment overall, it remains fundamentally important to the vast majority of charities.

"Phasing out cheques will add an extra layer of admin and data collection to the work of grant-making charities, while smaller charities will see their donations subject to bank card and online charges.

"Large dollops of cash that should be going to fund frontline charity services will be swallowed up in processing costs and bank charges.

"This decision by the banks seems to have been made in their own narrow self-interest and without any regard to the impact it could have on the third sector.

"The Office of the Third Sector has remained remarkably silent over this decision. I will be pressing them to investigate what this decision could mean for the sector, and how the impact can be minimised."

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