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Lib Dems back call for regulator to protect access to cash

February 12, 2019 8:26 AM

Money / banknotes (pounds sterling) in hand

The Liberal Democrats are backing calls from consumer rights charity, Which?, for a regulator to protect access to cash following new analysis revealing a rapid decline in cashpoints.

New figures obtained by Which? show cashpoints disappeared at a rate of 488 per month between June 2018 and December 2018 with over 250 free-to-use machines also closing monthly.

Former Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron said:

"This research will be concerning for people in smaller communities right across the country who depend on being able to access cash when they need it, without having to trek into the nearest town.

"People deserve better. Ministers in Whitehall need to appreciate that not everyone is comfortable with or able to use digital payments and online banking. For many, cash is still king. These closures will mean rural areas in particular are being left behind.

"Liberal Democrats demand better. That is why we are backing the call from Which? for a regulator to ensure that no one is left unable to access their own money when they need it."

Folkestone and Hythe Campaigner Tim Prater added:

"Banks are closing across our area, with, for example, NatWest and Lloyds branches lost in Cheriton and more recently Santander in Hythe High Street. But even where branches are shutting, at the very least cashpoint services need to be maintained and developed.

"Sandgate was left without a cash till for years until the Village Shop stepped up and introduced a free to use till. If banks won't keep their branch network, the minimum they owe us is strong cashpoint network."