ATM fees hurting the elderly and rural communities - Ged Killen
The Scottish Labour MP has spoken out before a debate on ATM closures across the UK, and warned that unless "low-income families, the elderly and rural communities" are likely to be penalised in the transition to a cashless society.
The Member of Parliament for Rutherglen pointed to research by Which? UK, that found that over three quarters (78 per cent) of consumers in the two lowest household income groups rely on cash, using it two to three times a week, with four-fifths (80 per cent) of retirees use it frequently.
However, industry body LINK has revealed that between the end of January and the start of July 2018, the number of free-to-use ATMs fell from 54,500 to 53,200, meaning 250 free ATMs are currently lost per month.
Speaking ahead of the debate Mr. Killen said:“When LINK announced their plans to reduce the funding for free to use ATMs they gave assurances that low income families, the elderly and rural communities would be protected."
“Nearly a year after the first cuts to ATM funding LINK have categorically failed to live up to their obligations. Their failure risks costing those who rely on cash dearly."
“I’ve introduced a bill in parliament to ban ATM charges and protect access to cash. I’m urging the Government to support my bill, without Parliament taking action we will sleep walk into a situation where the most vulnerable will be forced to pay for an uneven transition to a cashless society."
“This Bill has been endorsed by James Goodfellow, the Scottish inventor of the ATM and pin code who has said that the banks had benefited greatly from his invention and that they had a “moral obligation to protect free to use ATMs."
We have reached out to LINK for a response.