Financial institutions update ATM access agreement

Take note – story published 1 year and 6 months ago

The Latvian central bank (Latvijas Banka), industry body the Finance Latvia Association and the banks with the widest network of ATMs and branches in the country – Swedbank, SEB, Luminor and Citadele – have agreed to continue implementing measures ensuring access to cash for residents of Latvia in 2023, the central bank said in a release October 31.

An earlier Memorandum of Cooperation was signed in autumn 2021 and centered on making sure ATMs were located fairly evenly across the country so that residents of particular areas wouldn't have to travel large distances to withdraw money. 

The first year of the Memorandum saw 902 ATMs in Latvia during the drafting of the Memorandum. A year later, in autumn 2022, that number has decreased slightly to 897.

"This is significantly below the reduction criterion (5%) allowed by the Memorandum. The closest ATM is in a distance of below 5 km for over 80% of Latvia's population," said the central bank.

An agreement to continue implementing the measures ensuring access to cash for residents of Latvia in 2023 has been reached and includes preserving the existing network of ATMs and refraining from reducing the number of ATMs by more than 5% until 1 January 2024. In addition when creating the network of ATMs, the straight-line distance from any location in Latvia to the closest ATM should not exceed 20 kilometers for 99% of Latvia's population. Also, ATMs should be availlable to consumers for at least 12 hours a day.

"The Memorandum incorporates the core cooperation principles to ensure access to cash previously adopted by the Finance Latvia Association. From now on, more work should be dedicated to awareness, providing information and compatibility of various solutions used by banks, in order to ensure constant modernisation, export capacity and fair competition among banks and other financial service providers, limit the circulation of illegal cash and reduce the shadow economy," said Sanita Bajāre, Chairwoman of the Board at the Finance Latvia Association.

A map showing all ATMs installed across Latvia is available at: https://www.bank.lv/pakalpojumi/bankomatu-karte.

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