Consumers access to cash is being threatened by a continuing court battle over whether extra business rates should be imposed on ATMs, the PRA has warned.
PRA chairman Brian Madderson said: “The PRA is disappointed to see that the Supreme Court has agreed to allow the government’s Valuation Office Agency (VOA), the right of appeal against last year’s defeat in the long-running dispute with major supermarkets over business rates and ATMs.”
In November 2018 the Court of Appeal ruled that ATMs located both inside and outside of stores should not be assessed for additional business rates on top of the normal store rates costs that retailers are already facing.
The VOA appealed on the grounds that ATMs facing outward shouldn’t be exempt, and should count towards overall business rates, making the bills higher.
Madderson continued: “The Court of Appeal ruling reduced the costs to businesses of providing ATM facilities. The prospect of overturning its ruling will disproportionately impact already stretched retailers for the sake of shielding a relatively small tax take overall.
“The number of ATMs is falling nationally and a delay to a conclusion of this issue will do nothing to reverse this, threatening people’s access to cash.
“The recent ‘Access to Cash’ review which called for Government and regulators to act now or risk leaving millions behind, particularly in rural communities The VOA’s actions in pursuing this appeal appear to the PRA to be contrary to the conclusions of this report.
“The PRA would strongly urge the VOA to rethink their decision, and the impact this will have on hard-pressed consumers needing access to cash outlets as well as retailers housing these ATM facilities.”