ACS: Government to Challenge £300m ATM Ruling

The Government has received approval from the Supreme Court to appeal a £300 million court dispute over business rate bills for cash machines outside shops.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is set to challenge a ruling from the Court of Appeal which confirmed that through the wall ATMs should not be subject to a separate business rates assessment.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Continued delays in the business rates case for ATMs will be of concern to retailers who are already having to make difficult decisions about whether they can continue providing the service to local customers. Free to use ATMs are already disappearing as a result of interchange fee cuts, depriving communities of their access to cash. We urge the Government to change the policy for free to use ATMs, removing them from the rating list altogether.”

The Access to Cash Review, published in March, makes the following recommendations to ensure that access to cash is protected in future:

  1. Guarantee access to cash
  2. Ensure cash remains widely accepted
  3. Create a more efficient, effective and resilient wholesale cash infrastructure
  4. Make digital payments an option for everyone
  5. Ensure joined-up oversight and regulation of cash

Figures from the 2018 Local Shop Report show that 46% of convenience stores currently offer a free to use cash machine, with 16% offering a charged cash machine. ACS has continued its calls for the regulator to intervene to reverse the trend of cash machines either disappearing or moving from a free-to-use model to a charging model as a result of cuts to interchange fees first imposed by LINK in 2018.

For young people aged 18-24 in rural areas, access to a cash machine was the most valuable service available in their local shop, enforcing the importance and continued relevance of cash as a method of payment both in stores and in the wider community.

In November 2018 the Court of Appeal ruled that ‘through the wall’ external-facing ATMs should not be assessed for business rates separately to host stores, overturning an interpretation from the VOA in 2013.

This entry was posted by Chloe on Thu, 30/05/2019 - 15:10