Written question – Access to cash [04/03/2021]

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent steps his Department has taken to ensure that people can continue to access cash; and if he will publish the Government’s timeframe for bringing forward legislative proposals to protect access to cash. (160730)

Tabled on: 01 March 2021

John Glen:

The Government has committed to legislate to protect access to cash and ensure that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term. To progress this work, the Government published a Call for Evidence on Access to Cash in October 2020. The Call for Evidence sought views on the key considerations associated with cash access, including deposit and withdrawal facilities, cash acceptance, and regulatory oversight of the cash system. The Government is considering responses to the Call for Evidence and will set out next steps in due course.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Treasury has been working closely with regulators and industry to ensure customers continue to have access to essential banking services, including cash, while also protecting the safety of staff and customers. This has meant the vast majority of people have been able to access cash through the pandemic.

The Government created the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group in 2019, which has provided a forum for the public bodies to formally co-ordinate respective approaches to access to cash. This is chaired by HM Treasury and attended by the Bank of England, Payment Systems Regulator and Financial Conduct Authority. The members published an update on the actions of its members in July 2020. This included work led by the PSR and FCA to develop a comprehensive picture of cash access infrastructure across the UK.

The answer was submitted on 04 Mar 2021 at 10:15.