- 5,000 of country’s 48,000 towns and villages could be without a free cash point
- Banks charged around 25p when customer users rival banking firm
- Fears that free cash machines may soon start charging fees to users
One in ten towns and villages could lose their free cash machines.
Banks including RBS and Lloyds want a cut in the fees they pay when their customers use ATMs run by other firms.
But the operators of those dispensers warn the lower revenue would make the machines uneconomical. The industry association said scrapping them could leave up to 5,000 of the country’s 48,000 towns and villages without a free cashpoint. Campaigners said pensioners and small businesses such as shops and pubs would be worst hit.
‘Anything that jeopardises people’s ability to access an ATM is extremely worrying, particularly because so many banks have closed,’ said Justin Modray, of the consumer group Candid Money. ‘It would be a travesty for those already struggling to access finance if their ATM closes as well.’
Ron Delnevo of the ATM Industry Association said: ‘It looks like banks are scrambling around for some way of getting their profits back, and they’ve picked this. It’s going to affect a vital public service and that will have a knock-on effect for businesses and the economy. People will be furious.’
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