Treasury makes Ukraine sanctions: Treasury made two statutory instruments in respect of financial sanctions on the Ukraine. The Ukraine (European Union Financial Sanctions) Regulations 2014 were made at 11:00am on 6 March to take effect at 3:30pm on that day. They reflect the EU measures taken against certain entities and individuals in view of the Ukrainian situation. A further piece of legislation freezes in 12 overseas territories the assets of newly designated persons with effect from 7 March. (Source: Treasury Makes Ukraine Sanctions

Treasury consults on cheque imaging: Treasury is consulting on how to speed up cheque payments by proposing legislation that will allow UK banks and building societies to introduce cheque imaging. The proposal is that if customers can take pictures of cheques on a smartphone and pay them in using their mobile banking app, this will overcome many of the current challenges. Legislation will need to remove the right of the paying bank to demand delivery of the original cheque. Although there will be no "electronic cheque", and cheques must still be written on proper cheque books or other agreed forms, the certified, digital image of the cheque will be the equivalent to the paper cheque for presentation purposes. The Government stresses the new law will not force any bank or building society to start capturing images if they do not wish to, and that it expects traditional paying in services to continue. Treasury is consulting on the options for implementation, ranging from a dual approach whereby banks would move at their own speed, or an approach that would move all banks to a single central infrastructure. It also asks whether the new rules should apply in principle to all paper instruments. Finally, the paper considers security and fraud issues, and proposes that liability for payment for undetected fraud should be with the collecting bank. Treasury asks for comment by 7 April. (Source:Treasury Consults on Cheque Imaging)