What is the cheque clearing cycle and how long does it take?

It’s the process we use to make sure a cheque payment will be honoured by the bank it was drawn from. It currently takes up to 6 weekdays (Monday to Friday, except bank holidays) – but this is changing.

From 30 October 2017, The Cheque and Credit Clearing Company is introducing the Cheque Imaging System, which allows cheques to clear faster – by 23:59 the next weekday (except bank holidays) and in many cases, earlier (as long as the cheque hasn’t bounced). 

It won’t happen all at once though – the imaging system is expected to be fully rolled out by summer 2018 and until then, both clearing systems will run in parallel. For the first few months, the majority of cheques will continue to be processed using the paper system. This means that when you write a cheque, the money could leave your account faster, so it’s important you make sure you have enough funds available in your account to cover any cheques when you write them.

Read more about the new system