Access to cash: Why the UK Governement is going to protect coins and banknotes

The Government is coming under increasing pressure to introduce legislation that will ensure nationwide access to cash and banking services. Such legislation was promised more than a year ago but has been delayed for a number of reasons including the pandemic.

Some experts now fear that unless the Government acts soon, the country's cash system could collapse within the next 12 to 24 months, leaving more than five million adults reliant on cash financially excluded. It would also be catastrophic for many small businesses that are still heavily dependent on cash sales.

Consumer group Which? says the Government should set out its plans in the Queen's Speech early next month. 'We're at a critical moment,' the organisation's Gareth Shaw told The Mail on Sunday yesterday. 'We need the Government to show us a roadmap that will safeguard consumers' access to cash, at a time when ATMs and bank branches are closing at record levels. Its intervention cannot come soon enough.'

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

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