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MPs urge Barclays to reverse Post Office cash withdrawal ban

Written by: Emma Lunn
Ministers criticised the bank for the “retrograde” decision in a letter to Barclays chief executive.

A group of 124 MPs have written to Barclays chief executive Jes Staley to ask the bank to reconsider its decision to stop customers withdrawing cash at Post Office counters.

Earlier this month Barclays announced it would stop its customers from withdrawing cash at Post Offices from January. The decision is predicted to save the bank about £7m a year, but campaigners criticised the move for limiting customers’ access to cash, especially in remote areas.

Labour MP Chris Elmore co-ordinated the letter to Staley. The letter said the move “will only add to the cash crisis many of the most vulnerable and elderly in our communities are currently facing”.

The letter cites the Access to Cash Review, published in April 2019, which found that 17 per cent of the UK population – about 8 million people – would struggle to function in a cashless society.

Elmore goes on to say that Barclays’ decision was a “retrograde step” which would impact Barclays’ poorest customers the hardest.

Gareth Shaw, head of money at Which?, said: “Barclays has shown real disregard to the needs of its customers through its reckless move to cease cash withdrawals from the Post Office.

“MPs are right to challenge this ill-conceived decision that risks leaving many of their constituents facing an uphill struggle just to access the cash they need.

“It’s clear the broken cash landscape is being further damaged by industry’s approach, which is why we’re calling on the government to urgently intervene with legislation that protects cash for as long as it is needed.”

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