The Final Report of the Access to Cash Review (Report) has been published. The objective of this review was to consider consumer requirements for cash over the next five to fifteen years, to ensure there those consumers who require cash, including those for whom it is an economic necessity (currently about 17% of the UK population) can continue to have effective access to it.
The Report made a number of recommendations:
- there should be guaranteed access to cash, and a regulated body (funded by banks) should be tasked with ‘operating’ this guarantee and encouraging innovation in access to cash;
- Cash should remained widely accepted, for example by assisting retailers in keeping the costs of handling cash down, and encouraging innovation in the field of SME cash deposits;
- A more efficient, effective and resilient wholesale cash infrastructure should be created, developed by the major UK banks and led by the Bank of England;
- Digital payments should be an option for everyone, and this should be supported by government, regulators and industry;
- There should be joined-up oversight and regulation of cash, led by the government and HM Treasury.