AN URGENT call has gone out for the public to have their say on future access to cash.
It comes from Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell, who has led a lengthy campaign on behalf of constituents for improved access to banknotes.
The former Scottish Secretary fears the growth in plastic card usage during the Covid-19 pandemic could hasten the demise of traditional currency.
He urges as many local people and businesses as possible to make their views known through a UK Treasury consultation on access to cash, which continues for the next five weeks.
The initiative will examine ways to deposit and withdraw cash and to enhance cashback opportunities through retailers.
Consideration will also be given to a statutory body, such as the Financial Conduct Authority, to take responsibility for maintaining a retail cash system.
Mr Mundell welcomed UK Government moves to safeguard cash usage, but urged local people to have their say and perhaps encourage support for surviving cash dispensers and bank counter services.
He said: "I pointed out in the House of Commons recently that convenient dispensers were more important than ever.
"Transactions are down due to Covid-19 and a misconception that cash is riskier than other payment methods, but for many, cash remains a lifeline.
"It is especially important for the most vulnerable, particularly those living in rural areas like my constituency.
"Unfortunately there are fewer cash dispensers available, less enthusiasm amongst some retailers to use traditional bank notes and coins and it is becoming harder for businesses and organisations to do so."
Mr Mundell has held a video conference to discuss the 'Access to Cash: Call for evidence' with UK Treasury Minister John Glen.
Constituents wishing to express their views can do so up to November 25 by email to firstname.lastname@example.org