LONDON, 28 November 2019 – Campaign group Positive Money will from today mobilise hundreds of activists in the constituencies worst-affected by the closure of free-to-use cash machines, in an effort to force the issue onto political parties’ agendas ahead of the election.
Research by the group, also published today, reveals that 41 of the hundred most marginal seats have lost at least ten free-to-use cash machines in just over a year.
Positive Money has briefed its supporters in these key seats to quiz prospective MPs at hustings events and public meetings on their plans to stem the closures. Activists will challenge candidates to support legislation to ensure that free-to-use cashpoints are kept open.
The group is also releasing data which shows how many cashpoints and bank branches have closed in every UK constituency since July 2018 and is launching an online tool for its supporters to share constituency-level data with their parliamentary candidates.
The cash crisis could be a key factor in several knife-edge races. Lincoln, where Labour was just 1538 votes ahead of Conservatives in the 2017 election, has lost 29 free-to-use cashpoints, while Lanark and Hamilton East, where the SNP are defending a majority of just 266 over the Conservatives, has lost 14 machines.
5644 free-to-use cash machines closed in total across the UK during the period between July 2018 and August 2019 according to Positive Money’s analysis of data published by the ATM network Link. This has occurred at a time when bank branches are also closing rapidly. The consumer group Which? recently revealed that 9800 branches have closed since 2015.
Commenting on Positive Money’s plans, spokesperson Rachel Oliver said,
“We’re going all out to ensure that the cash crisis is an issue in this election. Most people want to be able to use cash day-to-day, but the big banks are trying to deny people this right, and until now the government has done nothing to stop them.
“If the public wants any choice over how to access their money in five years’ time, we need to stop this massive transfer of power from ordinary people to banks. We need MPs in the next parliament to ensure that the cash system is adequately funded so ATMs remain free and available to everyone.
“Over the next two weeks, thousands of us will be calling on our candidates to support enshrining free cash access in law.”
Data on cashpoint and bank branch closures in each constituency can be found here. The 41 of the hundred most marginal seats that lost at least ten free-to-use cash machines between July 2018 and August 2019 are listed here. This analysis is drawn from data available on the Link website.
Positive Money’s online tool can be accessed here.
A YouGov poll commissioned by Positive Money in 2018 found that 77% of GB adults regard free cash access as essential to their lives.
For more information or to arrange a briefing/interview with a spokesperson or for any other questions please contact David Clarke at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07849598558.
About Positive Money
Positive Money campaigns for a money and banking system which supports a fair, democratic and sustainable economy. Set up in the aftermath of the financial crisis, Positive Money is a not-for-profit company funded by charitable trusts and foundations, as well as small donations from its network of over 20,000 supporters.