A new campaign has been launched for an regulator to be given explicit responsibility for protecting access to cash.
Rural business owners have been hit hard by disappearing cashpoints and bank closures across the country, as consumer group Which? and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reveal 2,500 cashpoints disappeared in the six months to December 2018.
And over 3,000 bank branches have closed across the UK since 2015.
Which? and FSB have launched the joint Freedom to pay. Our way. campaign, calling for a regulator to be given explicit responsibility for protecting access to cash.
FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “A lot of rural small business owners are up against a debilitating combination of increasing bank branch and cash point closures, weak broadband and phone connectivity and derisory investment in local road networks.
“We have seen cases of rural business owners having to drive for hours a day to deposit takings – particularly in tourist hotspots where lots of shoppers want to pay in cash.
“They cannot keep takings on site because they become a security risk.
“Equally, there is no guarantee that just one cashpoint will be enough to service a community.
“It is not unusual to see smaller towns and villages running out of cash during peak season or when they’re hosting special events.
“Meanwhile village post offices may have tightly restricted opening hours, such as 4 hours for 5 days a week. The result is a massive opportunity cost for local firms.
“It is time for change. The majority of consumers want to see cash protected. We need to see a regulator given explicit responsibility for ensuring that protection is in place.”