CP23/29: Access to cash

Consultation open
07/12/2023
Consultation close
08/02/2024
08/02/2024

We set out our proposals for how we support access to cash in an increasingly digital world. Find out more and respond to our consultation paper.

Read the CP23/29 document (PDF)

Why we are consulting

We are proposing a new regulatory regime, which would require banks and building societies designated by the Government to assess and fill gaps, or potential gaps, in cash access provision that significantly impact consumers and businesses.  

We are proposing this because Parliament tasked us with 'seeking to ensure reasonable provision' of cash deposit and withdrawal services for personal and business current accounts across the UK. This includes access to both notes and coins, and access that is free of charge for consumers with personal current accounts. 

Who this is for

This consultation applies to:   

  • Firms which provide current accounts to personal or business customers and anticipate being designated by the Treasury under Part 8B of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA).
  • Businesses which anticipate being designated by the Treasury under Part 8B of FSMA as a co-ordination body.
  • Businesses involved in the supply of cash access services and operation of cash access facilities, including the Post Office and operators of payment systems through which cashback is provided, as they may be subject to new requests for information.

We also want to hear from:

  • groups or those representing the interests of consumers and SMEs  
  • customers who rely on cash access services 
  • other firms which provide current accounts to personal or business customers

Next steps 

Respond to our consultation via:

Send us your comments on our proposals by 8 February 2024.  

We expect to finalise our rules in Q3 2024, alongside the publication of our Policy Statement.  

We are also consulting on a transitional period, which would give designated entities additional time to carry out cash access assessments for the first 3 months after the rules come into force.

Background 

We have seen significant innovation and change in the way that consumers can pay, and businesses accept payments. This has been driven by innovation in payments and changes in customer behaviour.  

While the increasing range of digital services and payments options can make life easier, for many, the ability to withdraw cash is still vital. Cash remains particularly important for consumers with vulnerable characteristics and many small businesses.  

So, it is important that we manage the pace and impact of change, and ensure consumers are given appropriate support from their bank. 

Related publications

Costs to consumers and SMEs of a loss of access to in-person cash and banking services (Narrative report)

This report presents the findings from research commissioned by the FCA to London Economics to provide quantitative estimates of the costs associated with a loss of access to in-person cash and banking services at the location they usually use them for consumers and SMEs who rely on these services. 

Costs to consumers and SMEs of a loss of access to in-person cash and banking services (Technical report)

This technical report presents the methodology and the full set of quantitative estimates from research commissioned by the FCA to London Economics to provide quantitative estimates of the costs associated with a loss of access to in-person cash and banking services at the location they usually use them for consumers and SMEs who rely on these services. The findings of the research are presented in the accompanying narrative report.