Scrap metal recyclers investigating legal action over cashless payments


A number of independent scrap dealers are looking to take legal action against the Government over the introduction of cashless payments.

The group are frustrated that there hasn’t been adequate consultation over the ban on cash payments with independent scrap metal recyclers, as well as not being given adequate time to implement new payment arrangements when the cash ban comes in at the beginning of December. As a result, they are taking advice on whether they have a case to delay implementation.


One of the metal recyclers, who did not wish to be named at this stage, told SCM: “I can confirm that we have spoken to a barrister, but we don’t know as yet whether there will be a challenge until we have met with a QC next week.

“For metal recyclers who are not members of the BMRA, and even for some that are, there is a lot of confusion over the cash ban. There are many licensed scrap dealers that are not members of the BMRA and have not been involved in the consultation process.

“We only received the guidance document from the Home Office at the end of October and need to implement this at the beginning of December. But this does not give us time to implement it, find the technology and train people. We also haven’t had enough information or clarity on what we can take instead of cash as there is still some confusion despite the guidance.

“People will lose businesses as a result of this that are legitimate businesses that have been going for over a hundred years because they won’t be able to take cash payments and don’t have time to introduce cashless payments.”

The scrap dealer said that overall they will support the introduction of the cashless payment system if they are given more time to implement it. But they also queried whether it was necessary as the Government expects the cashless ban will reduce crime by just 4 per cent.

“Operation Tornado has reduced metal theft in some areas between 50 to 75 per cent through tougher regulation and enforcement,” they added. “So the impact of the cash ban will be more limited.”