Government to protect cash payments

The Government has announced new plans to protect access to cash payments, following reports of increasing cash machine withdrawal charges.

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, said the Treasury, regulators, and the Bank of England will be brought together in a new group to work on safeguarding cash.

He also confirmed that there will be no changes to current coins and notes, but that the Government will continue to work on supporting digital payment methods.

Hammond said:

"Technology has transformed banking for millions of people, making it easier and quicker to carry out financial transactions and pay for services.

"But it's also clear that many people still rely on cash and I want the public to have choice over how they spend their money."

This follows research from consumer group Which?, which indicated withdrawal charges were introduced at 1,700 cash machines in the first quarter of 2019.

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

"Many small firms still have customers that want to pay in cash. Every pound lost to ATM charges is a pound not spent with small businesses.

"Charging shoppers to withdraw their own money is wrong and dampens consumer appetite, causing a drag on local growth in the process."

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