Today we’re launching a new tool enabling people to send an email to their MP, asking them to push the government to support people who need access to cash.
24/03/22: Email your MP
After more than 6,000 letters were sent to more than 800 local and regional papers by our campaign supporters last month, today we’re launching a new tool that enables people to email their MP.
The government committed to legislate to protect access to cash two years ago, but it still hasn’t been introduced. This is despite the pandemic putting significant pressure on the cash network, ongoing cuts to the bank branch and ATM network, and the release of a Call for Evidence and Consultation on legislative proposals last year.
If urgent action isn’t taken to protect access to cash for consumers, millions of people who depend on cash will be at risk of financial exclusion with no way to pay for the goods and services they need in their daily lives.
Please email your MP and ask them to raise the issue in Parliament, to get answers from HM Treasury around when legislation will be introduced.
16/03/22: Update: 6,461 letters sent
Thank you to everyone who took part in this initiative last month. Thanks to you, 6,461 letters were sent to newspapers, up and down the country, from people frustrated by the increasing number of ATM and bank branch closures – impacting both them and their community.
Last month, 6,461 letters were sent to newspapers, up and down the country, from people frustrated by the increasing number of ATM and bank branch closures – impacting both them and their community,— Which? Money (@WhichMoney) March 16, 2022
Here are just a few of the things they had to say ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/dv77FDmwjX
16/02/22: Write to local papers
Today we’re asking people to write to their regional papers to highlight the impact of lost access to cash in their community, raise awareness about the issue and encourage the government to take action.
(this supporter action initiative has now closed – thank you to everyone who took part)
Lost access to cash not only impacts individuals, but the communities they’re a part of. Local businesses often form the heart of local communities, but many have suffered enormously as a result of the pandemic, with successive lockdowns forcing them to shut their doors for months at a time.
We’ve found an increase in cash refusal since the start of the pandemic, with acceptance rates still not back to what they were despite restrictions being lifted. And not only has cash been getting more difficult to spend, the pandemic has deepened problems with accessing it too, with ATM and bank branch closures affecting local communities across the country.
There’s no denying that digital payments are a good thing, providing real benefits to many consumers. Despite this, the UK is just not ready to go completely cashless. There are millions of people who are reliant on cash who aren’t yet ready or able to move to digital payments, and they will continue to need to withdraw and spend it. This includes some of society’s most vulnerable.
These concerns have been voiced by small businesses, two thirds of whom have identified cash as a factor that they think will be important to their recovery.
But action needs to be taken to protect these customers. If the current trend of ATM and bank branch closures continue, more consumers will be left without access to a key payment method, with a potentially devastating knock-on effect on local businesses and the communities they are part of.
Write to your local paper
That’s why today, we’re launching our new tool, which enables people to write to their local and regional newspapers and spread the word amongst other local residents. Let’s get this issue on the agenda of local political representatives.
Make sure your messages using the tool are assertive but polite. Keep them brief (around 150-200 words is ideal) – we’ve listed a full set of tips on how to go about it on the page.
Will you help us raise awareness? Let us know your experiences of cash refusal, bank branch and ATM closures in the comments.