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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.
LINK, the scheme that runs the UK’s ATM network, has put in place a Financial Inclusion Programme that includes premium fees for ATM deployers to protect remote free-to-use ATMs one kilometre or further from the next nearest free-to-use ATM or Post Office counter. LINK recently announced that £5 million would also be made available to fund requests for new ATMs from local areas with poor access to cash.
Furthermore, UK Finance – the trade association for the UK banking and financial services sector – has launched a Community Access to Cash Initiative, offering grants to local communities to improve cash access where an ATM is not appropriate or required.
The Payment Systems Regulator is closely monitoring 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 Government continues to engage with the Payments Systems Regulator via the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, along with the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England, to ensure comprehensive oversight of the overall cash infrastructure.