Friday, September 29, 2023

UK banks will have to guarantee access to cash within a reasonable distance or be fined

The banking entities of the United Kingdom must offer their customers the ability to deposit or withdraw cash for free within a maximum radius of one mile (1.6 km) in urban areas and up to three miles (4.8 km) in rural areas, according to the plan presented by he british treasurewhich contemplates the imposition of fines on those banks that fail to comply with their obligations.

The British Government has ensured that its goal is to maintain reasonable access to deposit and withdrawal services and has defended that it does not consider it necessary to undertake a substantial redistribution or the large-scale introduction of additional access points, since the data at the national level suggest that the distribution of access to cash in the country is broadly comprehensive.

However, the UK Treasury has stressed that it is important to ensure that the “reasonable provision” take into account potential local shortcomings that could have a significant impact, as well as evolving trends and innovations.

“While the increasing choice and convenience of digital payments they are excellent, cash has an important and continuous role to play”, assured the economic secretary of the Treasury, Andrew Griffithstressing that the measure will particularly benefit those living in rural areas, the elderly and people with disabilities.

“That is why we are taking steps to protect the access to cash by law and establishing that this implies withdrawals without charge and the availability of cash within a reasonable distance ”, he added.

In this way, the Treasury intends with this declaration to guarantee that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will use its powers to maintain the current level of coverage, while acknowledging that needs may differ by location and change over time, while making it clear that if a service is withdrawn and a replacement service is needed , this will need to be implemented before the shutdown occurs.

In addition, the FCA is also required to “keep in mind” local deficiencies in access to cash and establishes that the regulator should consider factors such as opening hours and distance to cash access services, as well as the need for in-person assistance.

Thus, building on the laws given through the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, the FCA will use these new powers to ensure that banks and building societies comply with these standards, and will have the Power to fine them if they don’t.

The CPI in the United Kingdom falls more than one point in July, to 6.8%, the lowest since February 2022


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