Tue, Oct 23, 2018 - Page 7 News List

All banks should handle cash: Sweden’s Riksbank

Bloomberg

Sweden’s central bank said it wants all banks, not just the biggest financial institutions, to be obliged to handle cash, as lawmakers seek ways to limit the nation’s development into a cashless society.

Commenting on a proposal by the parliament committee reviewing central bank laws to force the biggest banks to handle cash, Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves said it “mainly welcomes” the plans, but “wishes to go a step further.”

“It’s our opinion that all banks and other credit institutions that offer payment accounts shall be obliged to handle cash,” Ingves said in a statement.

The Swedish Bankers’ Association said in a consultation response on Monday last week that the proposal to make just a few banks responsible for providing cash could be in breach of EU rules.

In an interview earlier this month, committee chairman Mats Dillen said the proposal could be adjusted to include all banks if there are legal problems with forcing only some banks to provide cash.

Riksbank said banks should also be obliged to ensure that private individuals can make deposits after the committee proposed a requirement that companies shall be able to deposit their daily cash takings in their bank accounts.

It also said it “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.”

In a separate statement yesterday, Swedish ATM provider Bankomat said it should be the state’s responsibility to ensure that citizens have access to cash, as the the handling of notes and coins is such an important part of a country’s infrastructure.

Bankomat said it also wants the committee to propose giving the Riksbank clearer responsibility for cash handling, including for cash depots across the country and for subsidizing the infrastructure, it said.

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