Ireland Plans Cash Protection Law
Ireland’s Department of Finance has recommended legislation to preserve ‘reasonable access to cash’, making it mandatory for banks to provide deposit and withdrawal services and potentially requiring certain firms or sectors to accept cash payments.
A late 2022 update to the Retail Banking Review proposes the new regulations to ensure ‘future changes in the cash infrastructure do not outpace the expectations or needs of society’. The recommendations recognise that while cash use in Ireland has declined, access to physical money and the ability to exchange it for goods and services remain essential to supporting financial inclusion and providing a backup payment option for occasions when digital options fail.
The development follows Allied Irish Banks’ controversial announcement in summer that many of its branches would become cashless, which sparked public outrage so widespread—reaching as high as Prime Minister Micheál Martin—that the bank rapidly changed its mind and pledged to retain cash services.
Independent.ie reports Finance Minister Paschal Donohue has already accepted the cash-friendly legislation and a framework will be delivered within the year.