A HIGH street bank’s initial refusal to accept a cheque written in Welsh by Cardigan Town Council has provoked an angry reaction.

The town council paid a contractor by cheque but when he presented it to a branch of Lloyds Bank in England, it was refused.

The contractor got in touch with the town council and said: “I apologise for having to contact you about this as I find the whole situation embarrassing.

“Earlier today we received a cheque from Cardigan Town Council and similar to last time, the area where you write the amount is written in Welsh.

“I previously attempted to pay your cheque into our local Lloyds branch and it was refused. Today, I attempted to take alternative action and contacted the business section of the bank before it was paid in and again I was informed that the cheque would be returned back to me.

“I even tried to contact Lloyds Bank, Cardigan to speak with them and although I was guaranteed that a call would be returned in three hours, they have still not been in touch.”

Eventually, the cheque was honoured but not before a stinging response from Cardigan town clerk Wynford Jones.

He said: “I think the time has come for the staff at your Lloyds Branch to brush up on their knowledge that the Welsh language is a recognised official language and should never be treated with contempt as an inferior, unrecognised, unofficial language as your message eludes.

“Please request them to refer to the Equality Act 2010. Cardigan Town Council has adopted the Welsh Language Scheme and meetings are held through the medium of Welsh with simultaneous translating services on offer.

“It would be rather interesting to know if, on receiving their outrageous bonuses written in Welsh, would the reaction of bank executives be similarly condescending.

“Please kindly present the above information along with the cheque to a sympathetic member of staff who might just understand that the United Kingdom has moved on from its colonial past and that legislation supports the action of Cardigan Town Council in its efforts to preserve the oldest language in Europe.

“If further information is required, please consult the Welsh Language Commissioner of the Welsh Government.”

A Lloyds Bank spokesman said: “We do accept cheques written in Gaelic and Welsh subject to meeting a small number of criteria in place to reduce the risk of fraud and money laundering.

“If a Welsh-language customer needs help in a Lloyds Bank branch that has no Welsh-language speakers, customers may be referred to the dedicated Welsh-language telephony line or the local directors’ office to find a Welsh-language speaking colleague who may be able to assist.”