The Welsh Government has announced plans to proceed with an order to remove Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) from ATMs from April next year.

The decision follows a consultation launched by the Welsh Government which sought views on the Non-Domestic Rating (Small Business Relief) (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2019 and the provision of free-to-use ATMs and access to cash in Wales.

A submission by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) highlighted the need to protect access to cash for consumers as findings from their research revealed that 76% of customers paid with cash, and consumers also cited ATMs as one of the most important services offered by convenience stores.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We are disappointed with the Welsh Government’s decision to remove rate relief for ATMs as this will put even more pressure on access to cash infrastructure, especially considering the National Assembly Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee’s Access to Banking inquiry recently called for Welsh Government action to support access to financial services through ATMs.

“The convenience sector is becoming increasingly important in providing essential services such as ATMs to their local communities and policy making should support retailers in providing access to local services."