Cheque imaging launched on 30th October 2017 on a phased roll out basis. Very few cheques will be processed through the new Image Clearing System to begin with. The vast majority of cheque users won’t experience any of their cheques being processed through the new system for a number of months. 

During the phased roll-out customers will not be able to choose which system is used to clear their cheques. However, at some stage in the second half of 2018, all cheques will be cleared through the image-based system and the paper clearing system will stop operating.

The information which follows describes how cheques are cleared through the paper clearing system. For information on the Image Clearing System click here

The cheque and credit paper clearing process managed by the C&CCC is for sterling cheques and credits drawn on UK banks and paid into bank accounts in Great Britain. It involves the exchange of items and settlement of payments for customers whose accounts are held either at different banks or at different branches of the same bank in Great Britain. The term bank is used in this context to describe any bank or building society which offers customers a payment account facility.

The paper cheque clearing operates over three days and the process below describes the 2-4-6 cheque clearing timescales. The clearing does not operate on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays as settlement across Bank of England accounts can only take place Monday to Friday.