The government has confirmed that the financial services regulator will be given new powers to protect access to cash.
Banks and construction companies will be subject to the authority of the Financial Control Authority (FCA) to help ensure financial activity.
У Queen’s speech last week the government has promised that access to cash will be protected through the Financial Services and Markets Bill.
The government has confirmed that the FCA’s new powers to provide communities with the ability to withdraw cash and deposits will be provided in legislation.
To support the FCA, the government has said it will in due course set out its expectations regarding a reasonable distance over which people can move when depositing and withdrawing cash.
This will reflect the existing proliferation of cash withdrawals and deposits in the UK, it added.
It is estimated that about 5.4 million adults in everyday life are heavily or very heavily dependent on cash.
For many people, the use of cash helps them make a budget – Consumer Group Which? found that 52% of regular cash users said it helps them keep track of their spending, and 20% who don’t use cash regularly said they would start when the cost of living crisis worsens.
But which ones? Last week it was also revealed that 4685 bank branches have been closed since 2015, and 12178 free ATMs since 2018.
Economy Minister John Glenn, who visited Scotland on Thursday, said: “Millions of people across the UK are still counting on cash, especially those in vulnerable groups, and today we are keeping our promise to ensure access to cash is protected in communities . across the country.
“I want to make sure that people can still use cash in their daily lives, and it’s important to ensure that no person or community across the UK is left behind as we take on a more digital world.”
During the announcement of the speech, Queen Natalie Blue, chair of the Access to Cash Review and Cash Action Group, called it a “huge step forward”.
“I applaud the government for this commitment to support some of the most vulnerable people in society as well as small businesses.
“Over the last couple of years, the banking industry has done a lot of work, and with this legislation we can move the conversation from whether we can protect cash to how we can best meet the needs of those who need it.”
Philip Bowcock, CEO of ATM provider NoteMachine, said: “The way ATMs are financed needs to be addressed within the law to ensure the long-term future of a free cash network.
“The focus on geographical requirements in cash access legislation should also be properly thought out – establishing a radius” in a straight line “will be irrelevant to consumers unless ease of accessibility is a major factor.”