Banks and building societies designated by the Government to assess and fill gaps, or potential gaps, in cash access provision that would significantly impact consumers and businesses.
The assessments will need to consider local factors, such as demographics and transport.
If firms identify gaps, they will need to act to address these needs, the FCA aid.
It comes amid widespread bank and building society branch closures, with 5,791 shutting since January 2015, according to research by Which?.
It’s sparked concerns that the closures, combined with difficulties accessing free ATMs, could lead to “cash deserts”.
The FCA’s consultation document said: “Our data suggests that in the two years to (the first quarter of) 2023, 1,391 bank and building society branches closed, as did 2,176 free-to-use ATMs.”
The regulator wants to prevent people from facing unreasonable costs to access their money, such as through charges, travel costs or time.
Sheldon Mills, executive director of consumers and competition at the FCA said: “We know that, while there is an increasing shift to digital payments, over three million consumers still rely on cash – particularly people who may be vulnerable – as well as many small businesses.
“It’s important that we support consumers impacted by recent innovations.
“These proposals set out how banks and building societies will need to assess and plug gaps in local cash provision.
“This will help manage the pace of change and ensure that people can continue to access cash if they need it.”
In the first quarter of 2023, 95.1 per cent of the UK population were within one mile of a free-to-use cash withdrawal point, such as cash machines or Post Office branches.
During the same period, 99.7 per cent of the UK population were within three miles of one of these services.
The ability to access cash can impact local communities, economies and high streets, so it’s important to meet local needs, the regulator said.