Banking giant Barclays is facing criticism over its decision to stop over the counter cash withdrawals from the beginning of next year.
The bank said it remains committed to the Post Office network, but while customers and businesses can still pay in and check their balance, over the counter cash withdrawals will stop from January 2020.
Customers will no longer be allowed to use some critical banking services at local Post Offices.
Barclays’s move has been criticised by consumer association Which? and the Payment Systems Regulator.
Which? said Barclays’ shocking decision exposes the fragility of the UK’s cash system, and blows apart industry claims that the Post Office network is a solution to the cash crisis.
The Payment Systems Regulator said: “We are concerned about the impact this will have, and we will be closely monitoring the steps Barclays plan to take to make sure there are suitable alternatives for its customers to access their cash – especially those who rely on cash or who live in rural areas.”
Apart from its decision on Post Office cash withdrawals, Barclays has also announced several commitments to support customers and communities with access to banking services.
The bank has pledged to not close any branches in remote areas or where it is the last bank in town for two years.
More than 100 branches will be ring-fenced and remain open until at least October 2021.
The bank said it will also launch a cashback scheme in over 200 locations from January 2020 to allow cash withdrawls at businesses in remote towns and areas where there is no branch or ATM alternative within 1km.