Bank Services: Vulnerable Adults

Treasury written question – answered on 12th December 2022.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential impact of a cashless society on vulnerable people.

Photo of Andrew Griffith Andrew Griffith The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The government recognises that while the transition towards digital payments brings many opportunities cash continues to be used by millions of people across the UK, including those who may be in vulnerable groups.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has a considerable evidence base on cash provision and use across the UK. Analysis that was published by the FCA in February 2020 found that 5.4 million people are still reliant on cash. Meanwhile, the FCA’s analysis shows that, as of the end of 2021, over 95% of the population are within two kilometres of a free-to-use cash access point, such as a free-to-use ATM, bank branch or Post Office branch.

The government is currently taking legislation to protect access to cash across the UK through Parliament as part of the Financial Services and Markets Bill 2022. The legislation will establish the FCA as the lead regulator for access to cash with responsibility and powers to seek to ensure reasonable provision of withdrawal and deposit facilities. This will ensure that people and businesses can continue to access cash withdrawal and deposit facilities, which in turn, will support those who use cash in their daily lives. Further details about the Bill can be found on the Parliament website:

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