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09 December 2017

A threat to cash machines is a threat to local growth, say small firms

Responding to Which?’s call for the Payment Systems Regulator to review the potential impact of LINK’s proposals to reduce the fee paid by card providers to cash machine operators, Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman, said:

“Which? is right to call for a comprehensive review of what LINK’s proposals could mean for consumers and businesses. LINK seems to take the view that our ATM network is robust enough as it stands, but we often hear of towns losing access to cash. These tend to be in rural areas and tourist hotspots where cash is critical to the local economy.

“Fundamentally, it’s hard to understand how LINK expects to achieve its stated goal of improving access to cash with decreased revenues. We’re calling for transparency throughout its consultation process. It would be interesting to know how cash machine operators see a reduction in the interchange fee impacting their ability to provide a vital public service. I look forward to meeting with the head of LINK to discuss these issues in the weeks ahead.   

“What LINK needs to appreciate is that small businesses are already having to handle widespread bank branch closures. As bank branches close, businesses and shoppers are becoming more reliant on cash machines. That’s why a threat to the cash machine network is a threat to local growth all over the UK.”