Cornwall

Cornish language cheque refused by Lloyds Bank

Cornish flag Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cornish, which is designated "critically endangered" by Unesco, is recognised as a minority language by the Council of Europe

Lloyds Bank has been accused of "institutional racism" for refusing to accept a cheque written in Cornish.

Roy Chubb said he tried to take the cheque to the Redruth branch but was told it could not be processed.

Mr Chubb, secretary of Cornish language group Agan Tavas, said staff refused to budge on the issue even when he explained to them the language has recognised status.

Lloyds says it cannot take cheques in languages employees do not understand.

Mr Chubb said other companies actively promoted Cornish because they saw economic advantage in doing so.

"At the same time it seems that Lloyds Bank is going backwards," he said.

"The foundation of Lloyds Bank was the Welsh cattle-droving trade and, apparently, cheques can be accepted in Welsh and Scottish Gaelic so why not another recognised British language?"

Image copyright Ray Chubb
Image caption Mr Chubb tried to deposit the cheque into the Agan Tavas group's Lloyds account

A spokesperson for Lloyds said: "When processing a cheque our colleagues need to be able to understand the language it is written in, so they can review important details, which is key to preventing fraud.

"Whilst we respect the Cornish language and the efforts made to preserve and protect it, if a colleague is unable to speak Cornish, they will unfortunately be unable to process cheques in this language."

Between 300 and 400 people are fluent speakers of Cornish, according to Cornwall Council, while about 5,000 people are thought to have limited conversational ability.

Cornish is believed to have died out as a first language in the late 18th Century.

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