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Access to cash to be protected

Recognising the need to maintain access to cash withdrawal facilities, the government is stepping in to set out a new access standard in the UK.

The vast majority of people and businesses are set to be no further than three miles away from withdrawing cash under a new framework set out by the Treasury.

A government statement recently published sets a minimum expectation on banks to protect services for people and businesses wanting to withdraw or deposit cash.

They can expect to withdraw cash without any fees – something that has been set out in law.

As part of this move, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been provided new powers by the government to protect the provision of cash access services. This includes protecting cash access without any fees for those who hold personal current accounts.

Building on laws granted through the government’s Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, the FCA will use these new powers to make sure banks and building societies are keeping up to these standards – and have the power to fine them if they do not.

While we are moving further away from using coins and notes – with the number of online payments rising from 45% to 85% in the past ten years – cash can still be an integral part of many businesses and people’s lives. This is particularly so for disadvantaged groups and old persons who may not be able to access online or card payment services.

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