UK Supports Cash with New Banking Framework
Customers of the UK’s major banks and building societies will be able to access their cash and conduct basic banking at Post Office counters until at least 2026 in a deal heralded as being key to securing future acceptance of cash.
The Post Office—a large network of postal services across Britain—will allow individuals and small businesses to withdraw and deposit notes and coins from accounts with around 30 banks and building societies at its 11,500 counters nationwide.
The deal is significant given the continued trend of banks reducing their branches and leaving many—especially outside large cities—struggling to access cash. It is an update and extension of a previous deal signed in 2019, which received widespread coverage when Barclays, a major high street bank, initially refused to join. It reversed its decision later that year, after ‘listening very carefully to points made by ministers in the government, by MPs, and by interested charities and consumer advocates.’
This agreement provides a continued lifeline to the millions of people and businesses that rely on cash nationwide.
This welcome development in the ongoing saga of protecting cash access in the UK follows a historic voluntary agreement among rival banks to conduct an independent assessment of local needs every time a branch closes. Finalised in December 2021, these reviews are expected to result in recommendations such as the opening of a shared bank branch, a new ATM being installed, or a Post Office upgraded to secure cash access for the affected community.