Response and consultation Update

I have responded to two consultation/responses in the last week, the first was from RICs and was around their standards which they put in something called the RED book, the main issue for our members in terms of RIC’s surveyors is from the hospitality sector, particularly pubs. When they reach the stage of renewing contracts and looking at rent reviews, RICs seem to be the main port of call for surveyors doing valuations on the pubs, often there will be one surveyor working on behalf of the publican and another working for the pub owning business. The issue is that two professional people working to the same professional standards as RIC’s surveyors are coming up with wildly varying valuations. We could understand a variance of a few thousand pounds form two professional surveyors but when they get to tens of thousands of pounds, we have some odd cases where 60-80k variances are the result, that you have to ask if RIC’s needs to be looking at this a little more closely so the valuations more closely reflect a common professional standard rather than the needs of the clients they are serving. As these variances lead to dispute and the need for further independent arbitration to resolve them, this is the basis of our feedback to RIC’s.

The other response was to the payment systems regulator regarding specific direction 12, where they launched their call for views on the second annual review of Specific Direction 12 (SD12). SD12 is designed to support LINK Scheme Holdings Ltd (LINK), the operator of the LINK ATM network, to meet its commitment to maintain a broad geographic spread of the UK’s free-to-use (FTU) cash machine network and meet service-user needs.  

As many of our members report their local banks and building societies closing down and often that results in their own ATM disappearing from the local high street, so many small towns and villages have seen the number of ATMS serving them drop from multiple machines to one attached to the local convenience store or garage. So there is high demand for one machine and in some cases this leads to them running out of money through high demand ad in some cases damage or fault can lead to it being out of us. So the main issue for our members is that while there may be a machine in the immediate area, if it is out of use this can lead to inconvenience, business disruption and the need to travel. So our main member feedback is that specific direction 12 needs to look at not only an ATM being available but the correct service level agreements to ensure they are well maintained and operated to minimise any down time and this formed the main feedback we provided.

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