JEFF PRESTRIDGE: Our longstanding campaign to save access to cash on the high street has at last borne fruit
Our longstanding campaign to save access to cash on the high street has at last borne fruit.
A few days ago, the Treasury issued a consultation paper on how it will ensure people can continue to use cash – rather than be railroaded into using contactless payment.
When the document’s proposals are enshrined in law, it should safeguard cash for the foreseeable future.
The Treasury has issued a consultation paper on how it will ensure people can still use cash
At the heart of the Government’s approach is empowering the regulators to lay down the minimum standards banks must adhere to in terms of ensuring nationwide access to cash.
This should result in a more even geographic distribution of free-to-use cash machines – and access to cash in communities currently denied it. A result, I say. Yes, it’s time for a round of rousing hurrahs.
No details on interest rate for green savings bonds yet
Savers will have to wait a while before learning what interest rate the Government will be paying on its green savings bonds, to be launched in the autumn.
So far, we know the minimum investment will be £100 and the bonds will offer a fixed rate of interest for three years.
The money raised will be used by the Government to fund investments in green projects such as wind and hydrogen power.
Alarmingly, given its recent customer service meltdown, NS&I has been given the job of processing sales.
I trust the Treasury-backed savings bank will adequately tool itself up to handle the inevitable sales rush, especially if the interest rate is competitive – the current best three-year fixed-rate bond is paying 1.3 per cent.
In the year to April, NS&I missed six of 11 service targets set by the Government – including those relating to customer service and fraud management.
It simply can’t afford an autumnal repeat of such shocking performance, otherwise management heads will surely roll.