Banks are to be ordered to maintain cash services under the proposed law

Banks must maintain access to cash services at 2022 levels under a new regulatory framework recommended in the Retail Banking Review.

Treasury Secretary Paschal Donohoe is understood to have accepted the recommendation and work on the framework will begin next year, with heads of a bill set to be presented before 2024.

The review asks banks to maintain “adequate access to cash” at December 2022 levels, meaning banks must take precautions to maintain both cash deposits and withdrawals, including coins.

The legislation is expected to also bring outside ATM operators under the oversight of the central bank, which will also be responsible for protecting the resilience of the cash system.

The review also recommends further legislation empowering the Treasury Secretary to require certain companies or sectors to accept cash for payment for goods or services.

The overall framework and payments strategy is understood to include the development of a protocol, in consultation with stakeholders, on how banks can make changes to payments infrastructure or close branches.

According to the review, this will help the sector to deal with the decline in cash consumption in an orderly manner.

“The aim of this framework must not be to reverse what has happened or to try to maintain cash burn at current levels, but rather to manage the further decline in an orderly manner,” states the report.

“It is important that future changes in cash infrastructure do not exceed society’s expectations or needs.”

The recommendations come in response to AIB’s controversial attempts to convert 70 of its 170 branches to cashless outlets, a move that would have deprived many of its rural customers of cash deposits and withdrawals.

The proposal drew widespread public outcry, leading AIB chief executive Colin Hunt to reverse course within a week of the plan being announced. Banks are to be ordered to maintain cash services under the proposed law

Fry Electronics Team

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