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    Local stores welcome FCA’s proposals to improve cash access

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    Local stores’ body Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) proposals to ensure that banks and building societies consider reasonable cash access services, calling for a review of interchange fees.

    These services are essential for the convenience sector – over 50 per cent of store transactions are still conducted using cash, 40 per cent of shops currently host ATMS, and 23 per cent still house post offices. With banks and building societies facing closures across the UK, convenience stores have become ever more essential for the public to access their money and use essential services.

    ACS’ ATM Tracker, which uses official figures published by LINK each month, indicates that as of November 2023, 48 per cent of constituencies have experienced a reduction of 30 per cent or more in free-to-use ATMs since July 2018. In 19 per cent of constituencies, there are more than 2,000 people per ATM.

    ACS chief executive James Lowman said, “We are calling for an urgent review of interchange fees to ensure that enough retailers across the UK can continue to provide access to cash for the millions of people who rely on it every week. The current system is set up to reduce the number of ATMs available over a number of years, but it’s clear that provision is becoming too scarce, too fast. ATMs are an essential service that retailers want to provide, but find it increasingly difficult to do so because of the financial constraints they’re facing.”

    The ACS ATM Tracker allows you to explore the data on a number of ATMs in every constituency, including a breakdown of free-to-use ATMs and pay-to-use ATMs. You can use the ATM Tracker to write to your MP To ask them to raise the issue of interchange fees with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Bim Afolami MP.

    A link to the FCA consultation page on Access to Cash can be found here.

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