FCA has published a guidance consultation on how it expects banks, building societies and credit unions to behave when considering closing branches or ATMs, or converting a free to use ATM to a paid one.
Firms should not only carefully consider the impact of their plans on customers’ everyday needs, but also the alternative access arrangements that might be put in place to help, such as sharing services, providing mobile banking hubs or cash delivery services, commissioning a free-to-use ATM and supporting customers’ use of digital methods.
The consultation notes that around 16% of vulnerable customers rely on cash to a great or very great extent and would not know how to cope in a cashless society – from the results of a survey that gave similar figures to the Access to Cash Review.
FCA also expects firms to tell it at an early stage of any planned changes – and no later than firms would inform the LSB, with whom it has made an arrangement to share information under the MoU between the organisations.
Consultation closes on 30 July, and there will be further consultation on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers soon.