Question to the HM Treasury:
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to Which analysis, published 9 December 2021, on the increased rate of bank branch closures in the last 12 months, if he will make it his policy to set a timetable for bringing forward legislative proposals to protect access to cash.
The Government recognises that cash has ongoing importance to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK, particularly to those in vulnerable groups. The Government has committed to legislating to protect access to cash for those who need it and ensuring that the UK's cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term.
To support the development of legislation, the Government has undertaken an Access to Cash Consultation seeking views on proposals for new laws to make sure people only need to travel reasonable distances to pay in or take out cash. The Government’s proposals intend to support the continued use of cash in people’s daily lives and help to enable local businesses to continue accepting cash by ensuring they can access deposit facilities. The consultation closed on 23rd of September, and the Government will set out next steps in due course.
Alongside the Government’s commitment to legislate, industry also has an important role to protect access to cash. The Government therefore welcomes the announcement to fund additional shared service Bank Hubs and the direction set by the recent announcement from the Cash Action Group on industry commitments to support access to cash. I look forward to seeing what results these industry initiatives deliver in protecting cash facilities for local communities across the UK.