Access to Cash Review

Held on Wednesday, February 13, 2019


  • Sir Mark Boleat (LINK)

  • Natalie Ceeney (Access to Cash Review)

  • John Howells (LINK)

  • Mick McAteer (The Financial Inclusion Centre)

  • Phil Hall (AAT)



For many people, cash is (almost) a dirty word. Regulators are suspicious because they can’t control it – and because it is associated with the grey/black economy. Techies hate it because it seems so last century… And yet, it lingers. True, in Sweden, it is starting to look archaic; but, in Germany, it still holds sway. Here, it is a matter of convenience for many, but a matter of necessity for some – in particular, for those who (for whatever reason) find themselves excluded from the financial mainstream.

This is not a new issue. Indeed, we organised a round-table discussion on the future of cash about 18 months ago. Since then, however, there have been some interesting developments – notably, the establishment (by LINK, which runs our national ATM system) of an independent Access to Cash Review, which is intended to determine the demand for cash over the next five to 15 years, to assess the implications, to look at ways to retain nationwide access to cash and to “propose a way forward”. An interim report – entitled “Is Britain Ready to go Cashless” – was published in December, and concluded (predictably) that “Britain isn’t yet ready to go cashless”, even though the shift away from cash is “irrefutable”.

This is an important issue for a lot of people, and I am delighted that we have been able to put together a distinguished panel to explain what the Review is about – and to fit it into a wider societal context. Kicking off will be our old friend Sir Mark Boleat – latterly of the City of London’s Policy Committee, and now chairman of the LINK Scheme – who commissioned the Review. Following him will be:

  • Natalie Ceeney, who chairs the Review. She is also Chair of Innovate Finance and a NED at Countrywide, Anglian Water and Sport England. She is a former CEO of the Financial Ombudsman Service.

  • John Howells, who is CEO of LINK. He is a former V.P. at Capgemini where he led on work for the DWP.

  • Mick McAteer, who is one of this country’s leading campaigners for economic and social justice. He is founder and co-director of The Financial Inclusion Centre, and (among many other roles) he is a member of the CARITAS Advisory Board, a NED at ShareAction and a member of the EU’s Financial Services User Group.

  • Phil Hall, who is head of public affairs at the Association of Accounting Technicians. He is also a local councillor and board member of the UCLH Biomedical Research Centre.

If you would like to join us for what I am sure will be a lively discussion, please let us know by emailing or by calling the Centre on 0207 621 1056. As usual, there will be wine and sandwiches.

Many thanks,

Andrew Hilton