3 May 2019

A new group which brings together the Treasury, Bank of England and the regulators to safeguard the future of cash must not become a talking shop while thousands of ATMs begin charging customers for taking out their own cash and bank branches continue to close, Ged Killen MP has warned.

The Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP, who introduced a bill in the UK Parliament to ban ATM charges and protect access to cash, has warned that the announcement by the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, if not backed by decisive action, risks becoming too little too late.

Commenting on the creation of the group announced by the Chancellor, Ged Killen said:

“This new cross Government and regulators group is welcome, but it must not be become a talking shop, as without urgent intervention more people will have to pay to access their own money as thousands more ATMs begin charging people to withdraw cash.

“Labour has pledged to ban ATM charges to shift the burden of the transition to a cashless society from consumers to banks, and for new regulations to protect everyone’s right to access their own cash for free.

“We know from research from consumer groups such as Which? UK that the closure of ATMs and bank branches hits the poor and the elderly hardest.

“So far the Government has a record of sitting on its hands while the bank branches and ATMs that local communities rely on close.

“Therefore, I urge the Government to set out its plans in detail and commit to action soon. Otherwise this announcement will simply be too little too late.”
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