The Government believes that widespread free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK.
The Government has made no assessment of the effect of closure of ATMs on rural economies and communities, but is monitoring developments within the UK’s ATM network – LINK - as is the Payment Systems Regulator.
The number of ATMs has increased from 36,000 in 2001 to over 70,000 in 2016. LINK also runs a financial inclusion programme which subsidises free to use ATMs in areas without existing access. LINK has identified 1,700 rural and/or deprived ‘target’ areas, and the majority of these areas are now served by 1,110 ATMs, up from 171 in 2007.
The Government regularly engages with industry on access to payment services.