In Mitcham and Morden, we have seen three bank branches flee our town centre in the last three years. When this happened, they were often replaced with fee-charging cash machines, Which left vulnerable people without access to cash.
Take Pollards Hill as an example. The neighbourhood is cut off from the London transport network, with residents relying on the small shopping parade for everyday spends. There are two cash machines on the parade, but both charge a fee and are very profitable. That means that residents who are carefully managing a budget and taking out £10 at a time face a 20% premium just to access their own cash. How can that possibly be right or fair?
That’s why I campaigned for an amendment to the Financial Services and Markets Bill that would guarantee a minimum level of cash access, but importantly; ensure that this access is free, and what a fantastic result we achieved! The Bill will proceed through the House of Lords and eventually become law, making a real difference to the lives of residents in the Mitcham and Morden area. Our team work on behalf of the more vulnerable members of our community means that nobody in our constituency will have to pay any rate to withdraw their own money again.
Over the course of the campaign, we have managed to win the support of six Select Committee Chairs, seven members of the Treasury Committee and dozens of Opposition MPs, from all parties, who had put their names to our amendment. Over one hundred people came together to sign the amendment, I posed questions on the topic to the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions and even garnered the support of consumer rights group “Which?” All serving as a great example of what we can achieve when we work together!
You can read my speech, speaking in favour of my amendment here:
And you can watch a clip from my speech here: