Cheque processing and cheque imaging

Following an industry-wide change, from 30 October 2017 sterling cheques could be processed through either the current paper-based method, or by a new, quicker, image-based method where a digital picture of a cheque is sent electronically for processing.

We can’t say in advance how any particular cheque will be processed, but you may start to notice quicker processing times for some cheques from now on; and by late 2018, it’s likely that most or all cheques will be imaged and processed more rapidly than in the past.

Writing cheques

There’s no change to the way cheques should be written due to the new imaging system.

However, you should make sure you have enough money in your account when you write a cheque because the money could be taken from your account as quickly as the next working day after you give the cheque to someone.

This is because from 30 October 2017 some cheques written by Santander Corporate customers have been going through the imaging process, resulting in quicker debiting. The proportion of cheques being imaged is expected to increase to 100% by late 2018.

Banking cheques

There’s no change to the way cheques should be banked due to the new imaging system.

However, cheques banked into Santander Corporate accounts are expected to be processed by cheque imaging from approximately September 2018. When a cheque is processed this way you’ll notice much quicker outcomes.

Clearance timescales for banked cheques

Cheques you bank via the Post Office or a security carrier, and those you mail first class directly to us, will take approximately one working day* to be delivered to our processing centre.

The following tables show the expected timescales relating to paper-based and image-based processing from the point a cheque arrives at our processing centre. Any given cheque could be processed by either of these methods.

1. If a cheque you deposit is processed via the paper-based method, the following timescales will apply:

Cheque received at our processing centre and credited to your account onEarn interest onFunds available onThe money's yours by
Monday

Wednesday

FridayThe end of the following Tuesday
TuesdayThursdayMondayThe end of the following Wednesday
WednesdayFridayTuesdayThe end of the following Thursday
ThursdaySaturdayWednesdayThe end of the following Friday
FridayTuesdayThursdayThe end of the following Monday
SaturdayWednesdayFridayThe end of the following Tuesday

2. If a cheque you deposit is processed via the image-based method, the following timescales will apply:

Cheque received at our processing centre onCheque credited to your account onEarn interest and funds available onThe money's yours by
MondayMondayTuesdayThe end of Tuesday
TuesdayTuesdayWednesdayThe end of Wednesday
WednesdayWednesdayThursdayThe end of Thursday
ThursdayThursdayFridayThe end of Friday
FridayFridayMondayThe end of Monday
SaturdayMondayTuesdayThe end of Tuesday

Want to know more?

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, please speak to your usual Santander contact.

*Santander is not liable for delays during delivery to our processing centre.

Protecting your money - Financial Services Compensation Scheme (Opens in a new window)