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FCA and PSR have partnered to report evidence on cash access in the UK

By Joy Dumasia

July 26, 2021

  • FCA
  • UK
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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)The FCA and Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) have published an assessment of the UK’s access to cash infrastructure, considering the impact of coronavirus, alongside new research on consumers who rely on cash.

The FCA and PSR estimate that 95.4% of the UK population are within 2km of a free cash access point, and 99.7% are within 5 km; most people have reasonable access to cash through a combination of a bank, building society, or Post Office branches and ATMs.

In September 2020, the FCA published guidance on how it expects firms to approach branch and ATMs closures or conversions to ensure their customers are treated fairly. In May 2021, the FCA and PSR published a joint statement on their work to date, and the FCA also reaffirmed its expectations.

The PSR published its second annual review of Specific Direction 8 (SD8), which ensures LINK does all it can to make free-to-use ATMs available for UK consumers. It has been decided SD8 should remain in place until it expires in January 2022. The PSR will continue to monitor LINK’s commitment and how it is being met.

Sheldon Mills, Executive Director, Consumers and Competition at the FCA, said: “Around 5 million adults say they still rely on cash, and we know that where access is removed, it can affect the most vulnerable in society. This is why we have intervened in the past to provide banks with guidance on what to consider when closing branches.”

Recently, IBS Intelligence reported that The FCA is committed to developing a range of innovative programs to help businesses prepare for a changing climate and support their transition to a net-zero economy.

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