Monday, June 24, 2024

Brendan Doyle questions Bank of England over polymer transition at Follow the Cash Conference

Following the Bank of England’s announcement that new £20 banknotes will be joining lower denominations in the transition to polymer, Brendan Doyle, CEO of Cash Management Solutions, questioned whether the right choice has been made.

Speaking at the ‘Follow the Cash’ Conference in Bristol, Brendan Doyle emphasised the decision was too focused on the Bank of England’s cost savings without due care for the financial impact on the retail, cash, ATM and banking industries.

Brendan spoke before representatives of the cash industry including central bankers such as the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and US Federal Reserve. His presentation estimated that while polymer may indeed save the Bank of England £100m over 10 years, private industry will bear the largest cost burden, facing direct costs in excess of £250 million in training staff, replacing and upgrading ATMs and installing new equipment.

While making it clear that he has no issue with polymer as a substrate, Brendan raised a number of concerns as to whether the transition was right for the UK, highlighting the unprecedented scale of the undertaking and a lack of interest in polymer from the rest of the  world’s top 10 economies.

Cash Management Solutions provides independent cash management consultancy to financial institutions, ATM deployers and FX retailers worldwide.

Speaking after the event, Brendan added, “I feel it is my responsibility to raise these issues on behalf of our clients, as prior to speaking I’ve found no research of the cost implications for the retail and cash industry. With today’s £20 polymer announcement, private industry could be facing 3 separate waves of costs and potential disruption to the payments supply chain.”

Victoria Cleland, Director of Banknotes and Chief Cashier of the Bank of England, responded to the presentation where she spoke of the Bank of England’s intention to work together with private industry to make polymer a success – an offer which Mr Doyle saw as a positive sign.

“Despite our misgivings on the suitability of polymer for the UK, I am encouraged by the comments from the Bank of England following my speech and would welcome an open line of communication and the opportunity to work together to help mitigate any financial or operational burden for our industry.”

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