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The measures will be included in the Financial Services and Markets Bill, the Government said. It means banks and building societies will be subject to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) powers to ensure communities have cash withdrawal and deposit facilities. Since 2018, more than 12,000 free-touse cashpoints have vanished. And since 2012, more than 4,000 bank branches have closed.
Economic Secretary John Glen said: “Millions of people still rely on cash, particularly those in vulnerable groups, and today we are delivering on our promise to ensure that access to cash is protected in communities across the country.
“I want to make sure that people are still able to use cash as part of their daily lives, and it’s crucial to ensure that no person nor community is left behind as we embrace a more digital world.”
To support the FCA, the Government said it will set out “a reasonable distance” for people to travel when depositing and withdrawing cash.
Around 5.4 million adults rely on cash to a very great or great extent.
Rocio Concha, of consumer group Which?, said: “Cash remains a lifeline for millions of people, so it’s good to see the Government taking action.
“The Treasury’s proposal to base reasonable access to cash on geographical distances is a decent starting point, but the FCA must fully consider a wide range of factors.”
Branch closures a ”betrayal”
A Union has hit out at news of 28 more branch closures by Lloyds Banking Group – calling them “inexcusable”.
Unite said the move threatened scores of job losses, with its national officer Caren Evans saying it amounts to a “betrayal” of those who depend on in-branch services.
Unite said more than 5,000 bank and building society branches have been closed since 2015.
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