Major retail banks in the UK have reached an agreement to come together and share services to ensure long term availability of cash.
HSBC UK, Barclays Bank UK, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest, Santander, Danske, and TSB Bank have joined the initiative.
Others such as Age UK, Toynbee Hall, Post Office, and ATM network Link have also joined the cause.
The collaboration, which has been achieved through the Access to Cash Action Group (CAG), is part of a commitment to ensure access to widespread cash and banking for communities that have limited services.
The agreement will require the participant(s) of the initiative to inform Link if it decides to close a core cash service such as a branch or an ATM.
Link will then assess the impact of the closure on the community as a whole and decide if new arrangements must be made to meet the cash requirements.
From summer 2022, communities will also be able to ask for a review of their needs. Notably, Link has already assessed most communities where closures have taken place in 2021.
Other services to be offered in 2022 include free-to-use ATMs, Post Office with cash services and shared banking hubs.
These services will be offered along with other services such as ‘cashback without purchase’, mobile branches and pop-up services.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic cash circulation has been declining and the Bank of England has asked top lenders to explain by March how they plan to keep enough cash in circulation.
UK Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen MP said: “Access to cash has ongoing importance to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK, and protecting it is a priority for myself and this Government. Following the Government’s commitment to legislate, I am pleased to see firms working together to develop new initiatives to support continued access to cash.”