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Minister takes initiative to preserve cash

Press release

Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag wants banks to continue to provide adequate, basic cash facilities, as she wrote today in a letter to Parliament. In her letter, she also stresses that cash withdrawals and deposits must remain affordable for both consumers and retailers. To this end, the minister has announced legislative proposals.

Published: 31 May 2023


The Ministry of Finance and De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) had previously commissioned a study on the future structure of the system for banknote and coin deposits and withdrawals for consumers and retailers. Today, Minister Kaag presented the results of the study, conducted by PwC, together with her letter to Parliament. 

The legislative measures announced are intended to prevent a further deterioration in the availability and affordability of cash facilities. According to Minister Kaag and DNB, it is in the public interest that cash continues to function effectively as a means of payment, even if its use continues to decline in the future. Cash is useful for people who have difficulties with electronic payments, and it helps people budget their income and expenses. Cash is public money, i.e. issued by the central bank rather than a commercial bank, and it is a reliable alternative to electronic payments. Although more and more payments are being made electronically by debit card and online, Minister Kaag is opposed to banks further reducing the number of ATMs or discouraging the use of cash by charging fees. In April 2022, organisations and groups involved in the Dutch cash payment system reached agreements in the Cash Covenant. Minister Kaag has decided to propose legislative measures to anchor these agreements in statute.

DNB endorses the minister’s legislative proposals, and considers it important that the Cash Covenant remains in place until the legislation comes into force. DNB expects all parties to the Covenant to fulfil their civic responsibility by continuing to respect the agreements made for the smooth functioning of the payment system.

For more information, please contact Tobias Oudejans by telephone at +31 (0)6-52496961. 


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