Which? comments as Welsh Assembly launches access to banking inquiry

Gareth Shaw, Head of Money, Which?, said:
“In Wales, people are being stripped of their ability to access cash and financial services through the double blow of cashpoint and bank branch closures – so it’s right to see the Welsh Assembly focusing on this crucial issue.

“The UK Government must appoint a regulator with oversight for protecting access to cash and manage against these rapid changes to ensure the millions of people still reliant on cash in their daily lives aren’t shut out from being able to buy local goods and services.”

Notes to editors

The Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee has agreed to undertake a short inquiry into Access to Banking in Wales: http://www.senedd.assembly.wales/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=25058&EVT=113

The Access to Cash Review, published in March 2019, warned that the UK’s cash system is “on the verge of collapse” without urgent intervention.

Which? data
Which? has recorded bank branch closures since the start of 2015
In Wales, 235 bank branches have closed since 2015
Closure by bank is as follows:
Barclays, 46, Co-op 8, Halifax 2, HSBC 46, Lloyds 32, Natwest 70, RBS 9, Santander 14, TSB 3, Yorkshire Building Society 5

Figures supplied to Which? by LINK in January 2019 show that across the UK:
254 Free-to-use machines closed over a 6 month period, with overall losses of 1524.
488 cashpoints closed overall a month, with total losses of 2,962 over six months.