After the government decided to support proposals for regulators to be given more authority to ensure unfettered access to money, campaigners hailed the government’s about-face.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) would receive new authority under amendments to the Financial Services and Markets Bill, which were released late on Thursday night, to ensure that the public has unrestricted access to cash.
As the Bill moved through the Commons, opposing parties had expressed concerns about having access to money.
Campaigners have called on ministers to intervene in response to the closing of neighborhood bank branches and a drop in free-to-use ATMs.
The revisions provide the FCA more authority to guarantee that reasonable free cash access services are offered, including both deposits and withdrawals.
Which? has been a proponent of the cause and applauded the government’s action.
Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said: “Whether it’s to buy everyday essentials or to keep track of spending during the cost-of-living crisis, cash is hugely important for millions of consumers.
“With bank branches and ATMs continuing to close at rapid rates, those who are not yet ready or able to make the switch to digital payments can’t be left behind.
“Which? has campaigned tirelessly to ensure that new laws protect free access to cash and we are delighted that the Government agrees that people should not have to pay fees just to access their own money.”
For a response, the Treasury has been approached.