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The ATM Industry Association Warmly Welcomes Scottish Affairs Committee Access to Cash Report Recommendations.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

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by Ron Delnevo

PRESS RELEASE

                        

                                   

The ATM Industry Association Warmly Welcomes Scottish Affairs Committee Access to Cash Report Recommendations.

In their Access to Cash Report released on 29 August 2019, the Scottish Affairs Committee made the following recommendations

    • The Government should seek a commitment from banks that they will not close the last bank in town and if banks refuse, the Government should consider all measures, including legislation, to ensure communities still have access to vital banking services;
    • The regulation of bank branch closures should be strengthened – including public consultation ahead of any closure and the publication of impact assessments for vulnerable groups;
    • To prevent further ATM closures, network provider LINK should not introduce its fourth planned interchange fee reduction;
    • The Government should set up a working group with industry to introduce network-wide deposit-taking ATMs to provide this key financial service to consumers;
    • The Government should broker conversations between the Post Office and high street banks to ensure banks provide proper supported to the Post Office for taking over several of its functions;
    • Banks should extend the banking hub pilot to rural Scotland;

    •  The Government should introduce an overarching strategy on access to cash.

Ron Delnevo, European Director of the ATM Industry Association and passionate campaigner for universal Payment Choice, warmly welcomed the Scottish Affairs Committee report;

“This report includes a very detailed and accurate analysis of access to financial services in Scotland – and the analysis reveals that the Scottish public and businesses are in significant danger of having their vital interests ignored.”

Ron Delnevo emphasises “whilst some might say that it is too late in many towns to save the last bank, the direction of thinking of the Committee is a bullseye. There are ways of encouraging branches to reopen; the Australian Community Banking Model is just one of them. Even where a branch cannot for some reason be re-established, multi-function cash deposit-taking ATMs can provide EVERY community with access to all the financial services local people and businesses require. However, to achieve this, LINK must start paying viable fees to ALL ATMs operators, banks and non-banks, to incentivise such operators to maintain and improve the existing LINK ATM estate”.

Ron Delnevo concludes “the time for discussion and report writing is over. The government needs to act now, in 2019, to ensure that irreparable damage is not done to financial inclusion in Scotland and, indeed, the UK as a whole. Without bank branches, ATMs and access to cash, financial inclusion is, quite simply, impossible.


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