Monday, November 29, 2021
Home Money JEFF PRESTRIDGE: We need law to keep cash in our High streets

JEFF PRESTRIDGE: We need law to keep cash in our High streets

I attended a ‘money summit’ event organized by the consumer group Which? nearly two years ago.

It was a discussion about how the nation’s rush to a cashless society (contactless payment instead of banknotes and coins) could be delayed so that millions of people who rely on cash do not become financially excluded.

For a variety of factors, the event has stayed with me. First, I recall arriving at Whichswanky ?’s London offices feeling as though I’d just gone swimming naked in the local Serpentine.

That morning, the skies opened up – and boy, had I made a mistake by hiring a Santander bike to ride there.

Second, I remember being frustrated that John Glen, the Treasury’s Economic Secretary, failed to show up and tell us what the government had planned to save money.
A shadow took his place and continued to tell us the square root of nothing.

The only good thing I took away from the event was listening to Natalie Ceeney (the queen of cash) speak passionately about the importance of maintaining access to cash.

Which? is hosting a follow-up summit on Thursday, but due to lingering lockdown restrictions, it will be delivered via webinar (at least I won’t get wet).
Ceeney, the author of the most authoritative study on cash access ever published, will return to the battle.

The boss of Which? and the banking director of the Post Office are among the other speakers. The Post Office is currently embroiled in a controversy over the mistreatment of hundreds of sub-postmasters who were falsely accused of theft, fraud, and false accounting as a result of a Post Office computer system riddled with flaws.

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