HM Treasury/Economic Secretary John Glen.
FCA to get new powers to force big banks to provide cash
As money and finance transition to a digital payments system, the government says it is “critical to acknowledge that cash access:” is vital to millions of people in communities across the UK, particularly vulnerable groups.
The UK government is set to introduce new legislation to protect access to cash.
A decade ago, cash was the most frequently used means of payment in the UK, representing around 20 billion transactions per year in 2010.
According to UK Finance, in 2020 cash remained the second most frequently used payment method in the UK and was used in around 6 billion payments.
In the UK around 5.4 million adults rely on cash in their daily lives.
New rules will be enforced through powers given to the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s financial regulator.
They will mean the UK’s largest banks and building societies must ensure the continued availability of withdrawal and deposit facilities in local communities across the UK.
Yet to be decided metrics will govern what constitutes for “a reasonable distance for people to travel when depositing and withdrawing cash”, reflecting the existing spread of cash withdrawal and deposit facilities in the UK, according to a media statement from HM Treasury.
Measures will be legislated for in the upcoming Financial Services and Markets Bill.
The government believes it is “critical to acknowledge that cash access:” is vital to millions of people in communities across the UK, particularly those in vulnerable groups.
“Millions of people across the UK still rely on cash, particularly those in vulnerable groups, and today we are delivering on our promise to ensure that access to cash is protected in communities across the country,” said Economic Secretary John Glen.
“I want to make sure that people are still able to use cash as part of their daily lives, and it’s crucial to ensure that no person nor community across the UK is left behind as we embrace a more digital world,” he added.