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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Letters: out of pocket


I was disappointed at the All change for small change article in October’s magazine. It was a good and well presented article, apart from two comments: the first couple of lines of the second column is unrealistic. Whilst it might be fair to say “a cash-free society is on the horizon, rather than being around the corner”, the phasing out of cash would disadvantage a significant proportion of the elderly population of the country – and would seem to be politically impracticable in the near future. 

As an ex-Hon. Treasurer of the Institute (1984-1986) and former finance director of a UK international reinsurance group with overseas subsidiaries, I have had a lot of experience of finance and money matters in multiple currencies – including online sterling banking, which my wife and I still use extensively.

However, since downsizing 12 years ago and moving to a smallish village of about 2,000 residents, many of whom are elderly pensioners, my wife and I still have to draw out about £400 cash a month. We now have no bank in the village (the nearest is about six miles away), and although the local Post Office provides a range of financial services, a lot of the local facilities still rely on cash settlements – for example the older persons’ weekly lunch club, which charges £4, and various other organisations and clubs for the elderly, including some local bridge clubs.

Peter Downing

22 October 2018