Former Chief Financial Ombudsman to lead independent Review into cash access

Published on 27 Jul 2018

Natalie Ceeney CBE to chair Review looking at the impact of the shift from cash to digital payments - supported by a panel of consumer and industry experts. This Review comes as cash usage has declined rapidly in recent years, with growing concerns about the sustainability of the supporting cash infrastructure. Anyone with an interest in cash; individuals, consumer groups, community representatives, small businesses and industry, will be able to contribute through workshops and a Call for Evidence

Natalie Ceeney CBE, the former head of the Financial Ombudsman Service, is to lead an independent Review looking at the impact on consumers and small businesses of the shift from cash to digital payments as cash usage declines, it was announced today.

The independent Access to Cash Review, brings together representatives from consumer champion organisations such as Age UK, Toynbee Hall and Fairer Finance as well as industry experts to examine the future needs of consumers across the UK.  It is being funded by LINK, the UK’s largest cash network, but is independent from it.

This broad and open Review will spend the next six months gathering information through a Call for Evidence, consumer and regional workshops, look at experiences overseas, and will involve individuals, consumer groups, community representatives, small businesses and industry.

It will also look at the impact of new technologies over the next five to 15 years and what the future infrastructure will need to look like to support consumers’ needs. 

The Chair, Natalie Ceeney, has previously served as chief executive of the National Archives, the Financial Ombudsman Service and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service, as well as Head of Customer Standards at HSBC. She is currently Chair of Innovate Finance, the representative body for the financial technology industry.

The Access to Cash Review will be seeking input from as wide an audience as possible and anyone wishing to submit evidence is invited to do so via the Review's website

The Review will include recommendations on how the UK should best respond to the challenges, and the opportunities, of consumers’ evolving relationship with cash and payments over the next 15 years and will publish its final report in the first half of next year.

Natalie Ceeney, independent Chair of the Access to Cash Review said:The rise of contactless and digital payments has changed the relationship between cash and consumers.  Many people in the UK have already made a shift to paying for most things digitally, but at the same time, there are between 2-3 million people across the UK who are entirely reliant on cash.  Over the next decade and beyond, we will see significant changes driven by technology, and we need to ensure that we consider now how these will affect different segments of society, and plan so that no-one is left behind. The Access to Cash Review’s main objective is to identify what is needed by way of an effective and inclusive cash access service that meets the needs of all consumers, regardless of their personal circumstances."