The UAE Central Bank will now accept electronic copies of cheques as long as banks retain a physical copy for use in any forgery legal proceedings. The central bank “has obtained a Decision by the Ministerial Council for Services to include images of cheques sent to the Central Bank electronically, among tools that are subject to the provisions of Federal Law No. (1) of 2006 concerning Electronic Transactions and Commerce, and as document of proof before the UAE courts of law,” the WAM news agency reported on Monday. UAE banks have also been instructed to retain the original physical cheques in the event of any subsequent cheque forgery legal proceedings. The move will mean the sorting and exchange process of physical cheques at the Central Bank in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will stop from Feb 29 next year, according to a circular sent to all UAE banks. “The central bank said that it is constantly endeavouring to develop and enhance services provided to banks and other financial institutions operating in the UAE, for the purpose of providing faster and more advanced services,” WAM said in a statement. Bouncing a cheque in the UAE is still illegal and UAE bank account holders who issue four cheques that bounce within a year will have their account suspended for 12 months and will not be allowed to open new accounts, the central bank said in September.