Written question – Finance [21/10/2019]

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent steps he has taken to ensure that people are able to obtain their money from free-to-use ATMs throughout the country. (1067)

Tabled on: 16 October 2019

John Glen:

The Government recognises that widespread free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK.

The Governments’ Call for Evidence on Cash & Digital Payments highlighted changing payment trends. In response, the Government has set up the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy (JACS) Group. This group brings together the key regulators to co-ordinate regulatory work to support the country’s cash infrastructure, including ATMs. It will publicly update on activity in the Autumn.

The Government also believes industry has a crucial role to play in protecting access to cash. In addition to previous commitments, LINK – the UK’s largest ATM network – has recently committed to protect access to cash on high streets with five or more qualifying retailers. It has also created an ATM delivery fund for elected officials to request a new machine in areas with poor access to cash. Furthermore, UK Finance has launched a Community Access to Cash Initiative, offering grants to local communities to improve cash access through alternative solutions.

The Government-established Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) continues to closely monitor developments in the ATM market and has used its powers to hold LINK to account over commitments to preserve the broad geographic spread of ATMs.

The answer was submitted on 21 Oct 2019 at 15:13.