A lost or stolen cheque is a source of worry. Fortunately, it is possible to stop the cheque to prevent the funds being taken from your account. As well as stopping a single cheque, you can put a stop on all cheques in your chequebook if it has been lost or stolen. You may also want to stop a cheque because you have changed your mind about making a payment, perhaps due to a shortage of funds in your account. Knowing the procedure to follow is only part of the solution; you must act immediately. A cheque can be stopped only before it is paid into someone else's bank account.
Contact your bank or building society as soon as you are aware that your cheque is lost or has been stolen or if you have changed your mind about making the payment. Go into your local branch in person or phone the helpline number on your bank card.
Give the member of staff as much information as you can, including your account name and number, your address, the cheque number, who it was made payable to and the amount it was made out for.
Ask if there is a charge payable for stopping a cheque. Some banks and building societies charge a small fee, normally around £5. Others will not charge you for the service, depending on the circumstances. Often there will be a charge for stopping a cheque because you have changed your mind about making the payment but no charge for stopping a stolen cheque.
If you find a lost cheque after you have requested a stop, or change your mind about making a payment, contact your bank or building society again and explain the change in circumstances. Give the member of staff the details of the stop and ask him to remove it.
If you have stopped a cheque because you no longer wish to make the payment, contact the person to whom you gave the cheque to tell them it has been cancelled.