By Marcus Leach

Following widespread criticism the banking industry has decided not to scrap the use of cheques, despite initially announcing it would do so.

The Payments Council, had originally planned to replace cheque books by 2018, but after considerable pressure from MPs and charities have reversed their decision.

The weight of public opinion forced the u-turn, with the Payments Council declaring they will continue to issue cheque books 'as long as customers need them'.

"It's in the DNA of the Payments Council to consult and listen to all those people who actually make payments and use cheques," said Richard North, the chairman of the Payments Council, which had hoped to develop a "paper-based" alternative to cheques.

"Listening to over 600 stakeholder groups, working with the banks and following our appearance before the Treasury Select Committee, we have concluded we should reassure customers that the cheque is staying."

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