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Over two-thirds of Brits think rural communities are neglected by the Government

69 per cent of British workers agree the government prioritises cities over rural communities, according to a new survey released by Retail Financial Consulting Limited (RFCL), the ATM optimisation and web-based solutions provider for the banking and retail sector.

The survey, which was conducted by research company Censuswide, polled 2,000 British workers in February 2020. The research found that 71 per cent of respondents agree that rural areas have substantially worse broadband and transport connectivity than cities or built up areas, and 66 per cent believe that the government should increase infrastructure investment in rural areas.

This news arrives after cuts to high-street banks and the removal of ATMs have left over 100 rural areas in the UK with no options for cash withdrawal. The RFCL survey even found that almost one in every six respondent has had to travel more than one mile in search of a working ATM or cash machine.

What’s more, nearly half (46 per cent) agree that ATMs could be used for more functions, such as shopping refunds, banking transactions, and salary payments. The key difference between an ATM with more functionality and mobile banking (which was impacted by an average of five IT shutdowns every week last year) would be a more stable, static finance transaction unit which allows consumers to receive payments directly in the form of cash.

Andrew Martin, CEO, Retail Financial Consulting Ltd. comments:

“It is no surprise to see that the British public are concerned about the growing dysconnectivity of rural communities, many of which are feeling more and more isolated, especially as high-streets are stripped of retail brands, ATMs and banks.

“Resolving this problem requires a concerted effort from the relevant Government departments, which should invest the right amount of time and money to prove that rural communities are not ‘second-best’. This involves boosting transport, broadband and banking services like ATMs as well as extra tech funding to improve rural connectivity.”

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