Treasury written question – answered on 9th January 2023.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of businesses that accept cash payments by (a) sector and (b) geographical area.
As technology and consumer behaviour changes, it should remain the choice of individual organisations as to whether to accept or decline any form of payment, including cash or card, based on their consideration of factors such as customer preference and cost.
Nonetheless, the Government recognises that many people continue to transact in cash across the UK and engages closely with financial regulators to monitor and assess trends relating to cash. Research published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2020 found that 98% of small businesses would never turn away a customer if they needed to pay by cash.
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 support local businesses to continue accepting cash.
Further details about the Financial Services and Markets Bill can be found on the Parliament website: https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3326
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