The Bank of Finland has proposed a legislative initiative for securing the sufficient level of cash services. The legislative initiative comprises all services essential for the use of cash. It takes into account the availability of cash, the acceptability of cash as a payment instrument and the possibility to deposit cash. Current regulation does not sufficiently secure the realisation of all cash services.

The purpose of cash services is to maintain equal opportunities for Finnish citizens to participate in economic activity by using the best payment method for their purposes. ‘With this legislative initiative, we seek to promote equal opportunities for all Finns to choose the most suitable payment method for their needs. For many Finns, cash is still an important payment instrument every now and again, and some of us pay for purchases mostly in cash’, notes Tuomas Välimäki, Member of the Board of the Bank of Finland.

The Bank of Finland published its guiding principles for the maintenance of cash services in 2018. Preparations for the legislative initiative now proposed by the Bank were begun in 2020, once the pandemic had changed the situation of cash services. The initiative would foster realisation of the guiding principles now and in the future. The guiding principles apply to the acceptability of cash as a payment instrument and the right of citizens to make a reasonable amount of cash withdrawals free of charge and to deposit cash in their accounts.

Cash is an important payment method also in terms of crisis preparedness. Cash can be used as a payment method also when, for whatever reason, electronic payment methods are not functioning.

Cash is legal tender and a payment method equally available to all members of the public, and therefore its position is regulated by Parliament. ‘The legislative initiative on the level of cash services, the availability of cash and cash deposits must be launched before cash services shrink to a level that citizens do not have reasonable opportunities to use cash as a payment instrument’, concludes Välimäki.

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For further information on the legislative initiative, please contact:

Head of Division Heli Snellman              , tel. +358 9 183 2183

Head of Department Päivi Heikkinen    , tel. +358 9 183 3473