All banks should be obliged to handle cash

News The Riksbank mainly welcomes the Riksbank Committee’s proposal to impose an obligation on most major banks to offer access to cash services throughout Sweden. But the Riksbank wishes to go a step further. “It is our opinion that all banks and other credit institutions that offer payment accounts shall be obliged to handle cash”, says Governor Stefan Ingves.

The Riksbank Committee, consisting of representatives from all the parliamentary parties, has been tasked with performing a review of the monetary policy framework and the Sveriges Riksbank Act. In June, the Committee published its interim report “Secure access to cash” (SOU 2018:42).

In a consultation response to the report, the Riksbank writes that all banks and other credit institutions that offer payment accounts and associated services shall be obliged to offer cash services to their customers.

The Committee proposes a requirement that companies shall be able to deposit their daily cash takings in their bank accounts. The Riksbank wishes to go a step further even in this regard. Banks should also be obliged to ensure that private individuals can make deposits.

“The possibility to make deposits shall be included in the concept of cash services. This is a service that consumers can reasonably expect of banks,” says Governor Ingves.

The Riksbank also considers it important that the status of cash as legal tender be clarified. For example, it needs to be clear which services, in addition to public medical care, shall be obliged to accept cash.

As cash use is declining rapidly, it is important that the Riksdag adopt a position on the issue of what constitutes legal tender in Sweden and its connection to the Swedish krona as a currency. Any legislation should be as technology-neutral as possible in order to also be applicable to any future means of payment issued by the Riksbank.

Updated 22/10/2018
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