We are publishing our first Annual Review of Specific Direction 8 (SD8), which we issued to LINK in October 2018. SD8 requires LINK to do all it can to fulfil its commitment to maintain the broad geographic spread of free-to-use (FTU) ATMs. 

Why we are publishing this document 

Cash remains an important payment method in the UK and we want everyone to have a good choice of how to make payments in a way that works for them.

In the area of cash, our overall aim is to support cash access, including widespread geographic access, which meets the needs of those UK consumers who need or want to use cash as a payment method. ATMs are important because they are currently the main way most people access their cash.

Who should read this document

This document will be of particular interest to ATM operators, consumer groups and merchants as well as anyone with an interest in the provision of access to cash.

What this document contains

This document sets out what LINK does, LINK’s commitment and why we issued Specific Direction 8 as well as examining wider developments in access to cash.

It also contains:

  • a discussion of whether SD8 should remain in place, taking into account stakeholder responses, the reasons why SD8 was introduced and how it is working in practice.
    • we summarise respondents’ views on the commitment and SD8 before outlining our response and our position. 
  • a discussion of LINK's policies to maintain and replace Protected ATMs.
    • we summarise respondents' views on these before outlining our responses and our positions.

We have also published full responses to our Call for Views.

Next steps

We consider that there has been generally good progress in developing policies that meet LINK’s commitment.

We are working with other authorities as part of the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group and industry to develop longer-term solutions to society’s ongoing need for access to cash in a rapidly changing environment. 

We will continue to monitor LINK’s commitment and how it is being met, and will engage with LINK directly where we have concerns.

SD8 is due for a second review in October 2020 and we will reassess the direction and related policies at that time. 

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