British banks could be fined if they do not provide access to cash Companies

HSBC branch in London.Reuters

British banks could be fined if they do not offer individuals and businesses the ability to withdraw or deposit cash within a radius of one mile (1.6 km) in urban areas and three miles (4.8 km) in rural areas, as announced on Friday by the British government. British Treasury.

The measure presented on Friday by the Economic Secretary of the Treasury, Andrew Griffiths, aims, above all, to stop the gradual disappearance of bank branches and ATMs in the most populated areas of the country, such as transactions with physical money (“contactless payments”). The Treasury chief explained in a statement that the set distances of one and three miles will ensure the current level of access to ATMs and personal banking, although he warned that these limits may be expanded if the use of cash declines.

Griffiths noted that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the British regulatory body for the sector, may impose fines on banks that do not adhere to the new policy. The minister insisted that cash still had to play an “important and ongoing role” in the economy, despite the decline in the use of coins and banknotes in recent years.

He stressed that the Financial Conduct Authority would have powers to maintain “current levels of coverage”, recognizing that needs may vary by location and may change over time. However, he warned that financial institutions must offer an alternative before they close an ATM or branch.

“People don't have to travel long hours to withdraw Tenner or deposit money for a birthday card, and businesses don't have to travel long distances to deposit their cash dividends,” Griffiths said. Al-Malik stressed that these measures will benefit “everyone” who uses cash, especially those “who live in rural areas, the elderly, and people with disabilities.”

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