Uncashed cheques cost small firms £550m

11th October 2016

One-in-five small traders forget to pay in customer cheques at least once a week, resulting in £740 worth of missed earnings on average, according to a new report from Barclays’ business banking arm.

The study also says that, when combined with small business owners that lose their customer cheques altogether and never choose to recover them, small businesses are missing out on £550 million a year in lost income.

As a consequence of cheques being either misplaced or simply forgotten about, an estimated one million small traders are not being paid what they are owed on a regular basis, say Barclays.

The bank’s survey of 1,000 small firms also states that, contrary to suggestions that cheques are on the cusp of being consigned to the history books, paying by cheque still remains a ‘popular’ method to send and receive funds.

To add further credence to its claim, Barclays revealed that more than 90 million cheques were paid in to its accounts over the last 12 months, totalling more than £140 billion.

This figure could be higher still if traders weren’t forgetting to deposit cheques received from customers, particularly those that receive them every week.

The authors of the report said: “The £550m lost each year by SMEs losing or forgetting to deposit their cheques highlights the scale of the problem.”

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