We have given Specific Direction 12 (SD12) to Link Scheme Holdings Ltd (LINK), the operator of the LINK ATM network, to maintain the broad geographic spread of the UK’s free-to-use (FTU) cash machine network.  

The new Direction follows our consultation on issuing a new Specific Direction to replace our existing Specific Direction 8 (SD8), which was due to end on 2 January 2022.  We extended this until the end of March 2022 with Specific Direction 8a. SD12 revokes SD8 and SD8a.

What this document contains: 

SD12 is designed to support LINK in ensuring it meets its commitment to maintain a broad geographic spread of FTU ATMs and meet its users’ needs.  

Although many people are increasingly using digital payments, cash remains an important payment method. We want to ensure people and businesses continue to have access to cash and have confidence in the ATM network.  

LINK has done a good job in supporting the broad geographic spread of FTU ATMs in the UK, supported by SD8. Therefore, SD12 maintains a similar focus. However, reflecting the overall success of LINK’s commitments, we have made some changes to provide LINK greater flexibility in the application, and revision of their policies.  

SD12 makes some key changes to SD8: 

  • Replace the ‘1km rule’ with a ‘defined radius’: This gives LINK more flexibility to implement its policies to protect the geographic spread of ATMs. We made this change to account for developments since we issued SD8, and to respond to potential future market changes. 
  • Add a non-objection clause: This allows us to object if LINK proposes to change its policies, if we believe the change is likely to have an adverse impact on LINK’s commitment. 
  • Simplification of monitoring requirements: This is designed to reduce LINK’s monitoring burden.  
  • Require an annual report on resilience: LINK will provide an annual report to us which outlines the considerations given to improving resilience of the ATM Replacement Procedure. 

SD12 will come into effect on 3 March 2022. 

Supplementary Files

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