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Cash Dispensing

Treasury written question – answered on 3rd October 2019.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will instruct the Payment Systems Regulator to take the necessary steps to prevent further reductions in access to free-to-use cash machines.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The Government recognises the continued importance of free access to cash to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK. The Government is engaging, and will continue to engage, with the regulators and industry on this important topic.

LINK, the scheme that runs the UK’s ATM network, has publicly committed to maintain the broad geographic spread of ATMs and has put in place specific arrangements to protect remote free-to-use ATMs one kilometre or further from the next nearest free-to-use ATM. More recently, LINK has committed to protecting free access to cash on high streets – where there is a cluster of five or more retailers – that don’t have a free-to-use ATM or a Post Office counter within 1 kilometre.

UK Finance has also launched a Community Access to Cash Initiative, offering grants to local communities to improve cash access.

The Government established the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) in 2015, with robust powers and a statutory objective to ensure that the UK's payment systems work in the interests of their users. The PSR regulates LINK and is monitoring ATM market developments closely. The PSR has used its powers to hold LINK to account over their public commitments.

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