Millions of the most vulnerable people in the UK are forced to pay to access their own cash. This week Parliament will vote on my bill which would ban ATMs from charging users and ensure that a network of cash machines is properly funded by the banks.
How many people are affected?
Which? have recently published research on the use of free to use ATMs by the public in Scotland this shows:
- Nine in ten (89%) said that access to the free-to-use network was important to their daily lives and paying for goods and services. – and of these more than half (51%) described them as essential for day-to-day life.
- One in five (19%) people in rural Scottish communities told Which? their nearest free-to-use cash machine was already too far away to walk to, compared to 3% in urban areas. While for one in seven (14%) it currently takes at least half an hour to reach their nearest cash point.
- According to the survey, one in 10 (8%) had used a fee-charging cash machine in the last month and of these a third (31%) did so because they couldn’t find a free-to-use option.
- Similarly, a poll of FSB members found that 59% of retail businesses felt a cash machine was useful to their business. In addition, 50% of businesses say their nearest free to access cash point is already over 1 kilometre away from their business.
You can support the campaign by Which? here
What will the Bill do?
The Bill would:
- Ban ATM charges and protects the right of customers to access their own cash free of charge.
- Prevent a postcode lottery where those living in the poorest areas are most likely to be charged to access their own cash.
- Establish a statutory right to free access to cash.
- Protect rural, suburban and deprived communities. When access to financial services disappear, lending to small businesses decreases and the risk of financial exclusion grows.