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Vanishing cashpoints: 250 free-to use ATMs close each month

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Cashpoints are disappearing at an “alarming” rate, leaving many people struggling to pay for essential goods and services, a consumer group warns.

Over 250 free-to-use cashpoints close monthly in the UK and close to 3,000 cashpoints in total disappeared between June and December last year, new figures from Which? reveal.

Worryingly, 102 so-called ‘protected’ machines in remote areas vanished in 2018.

Campaigners are now worried that the double blow of cashpoint and bank closures is leaving communities struggling to access the cash they rely on.

More than 3,300 UK branches have closed since 2015 and the UK has lost two thirds of its branch network in the last 30 years, leaving a fifth of households more than three kilometres from their nearest bank, Which? figures show.

But despite the increased popularity of digital and card payments, having access to cash is still a necessity for more than 25 million people across the country, according to the consumer group.

Which? previously found almost three-quarters (73%) of the population still use cash frequently to pay for goods and services.

It is calling on the government to appoint a regulator with sole responsibility for the cash infrastructure to ensure consumers and businesses can continue accessing cash

Jenni Allen, managing director at Which? Money, said: “We have serious concerns that the alarming rate of cashpoint and bank branch closures risks leaving people facing an uphill battle to access the cash they rely on.

“Cash is also a vital backup as fallible digital payments grow in popularity – so the Government must appoint a regulator to oversee these changes and ensure no-one is excluded and left struggling to go about their daily lives.”

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