We are publishing our second Annual Review of Specific Direction 8 (SD8), which is designed to make sure LINK does all it can to fulfil its commitment to maintain the broad geographical spread of free-to-use (FTU) ATMs. We issued SD8 to LINK in October 2018. We conducted our first review in March 2020 and have now completed our second review.

Why we are publishing this document

Cash remains an important payment method for many people 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 UK consumers. ATMs are important because they are still 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 (SD8) 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.
  • a review of LINK’s policies for maintaining Protected ATMs.
  • a review of LINK’s policies for replacing Protected ATMs

On each of these issues, we summarise respondents' views on these before outlining our response and our position.

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

Next steps

We have engaged with LINK directly regarding our positions. We intend to agree timescales with LINK for further work in due course.

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

Many of the reasons that support keeping SD8 in place until January 2022 are likely to apply beyond January 2022 also. We are therefore currently minded to issue a new Direction to replace SD8 when it expires. We will assess the evidence in detail over the summer.

Should we decide that a new Specific Direction is required, we will consult on a new draft Direction later this year, including how it may interact with future access to cash legislation and industry developments.

Supplementary Files

Share this page: