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I led in a debate on access to and acceptance of cash during the Covid19 pandemic, where I called for the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, to be given greater powers to protect access to cash, and for banking hubs to be introduced to our communities in response to high street banks stampeding out of our towns, nowhere more so than in North Ayrshire.

Action is needed to address these forms of financial exclusion.

Access to cash is vitally important for the over a million people in the UK do not have a bank account, and for many who rely on cash for budgeting and other reasons. The Covid19 pandemic has accelerated the decline of cash use, with many people being told they are unable to pay for goods and services with cash.

My constituency of North Ayrshire and Arran has been hit extremely hard in recent years with bank closures and the loss of free-to-use cash machines, and unless legislation is introduced urgently, the ability to access to cash and use it as payment could be permanently lost to many consumers, causing significant financial exclusion.

Watch my speech below.


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