Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.
|12 Jul 2018, 3:51 p.m.||Cash Dispensing||Lord Kennedy of Southwark|
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of ATMs available in the UK; and of the impact on communities of any reduction in the number of ATMs.
Answer (Lord Bates)
The Government recognises that widespread free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK. Government has been engaging and will continue to engage with the regulators and industry, including LINK, to ensure that it is maintained. At Spring Statement, Government also launched a public Call for Evidence on cash and digital payments which, amongst other things, seeks to find out how cash usage and need varies by region.
The Government established the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) in 2015 with a statutory objective to ensure that the UK’s payment systems work in the interests of their users. As part of this, the PSR is monitoring developments within ATM provision. The PSR has undertaken work to understand the impact on the provision of free-to-use ATMs that a reduction in interchange fees may have and a summary of the findings can be found on their website. The Government has therefore not made its own assessment of the impact.
The PSR have also set out three requirements of LINK: that LINK must maintain the current geographical spread of ATMs; that any changes made to interchange fees must be incremental to allow LINK to monitor the impact and take action if the impact is not as expected; and for a greater focus on LINK’s financial inclusion programme, to continue to fill gaps in the network. The PSR has committed to using its powers to act should LINK behave in a way that conflicts with its statutory objectives.
Regarding the number of ATMs available in the UK, this data is publicly available on the LINK website. It shows that, as of 2017, there were around 69,600 ATMs on the LINK network.