An agreement has been reached between the major retail banks to share services, ensuring long-term cash availability across the UK.
The collaboration, achieved through the Access to Cash Action Group (CAG), marks the beginning of a long-term commitment to ensuring widespread cash and banking access for communities where services are limited.
Cash use has been in decline in recent years – a trend accelerated and exacerbated by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – with current use 35% below pre-COVID-19 levels.
Banks and consumer groups recognise the need to ensure that consumers and small businesses who need cash can continue to withdraw and deposit it. Under the new model, any community that faces the closure of a core cash service, such as a bank branch or ATM, will have its needs independently assessed by cash machine network LINK.
LINK will then determine whether a new solution should be provided to meet that community's cash needs.
John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: 'Access to cash has ongoing importance to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK, and protecting it is a priority for myself and this government.
'Following the government's commitment to legislate, I am pleased to see firms working together to develop new initiatives to support continued access to cash. This is a great start, and I look forward to seeing the impact of industry's announcements for new and improved cash facilities in local communities across the UK.'