New research by consumer watchdog Which? has found that nearly one in 10 free ATMs across the UK has closed or been turned into a fee-paying cashpoint.
Which? also found that free-to-use cash machines are vanishing more quickly in deprived areas. There has been widespread media coverage on the impact on poorer communities, where people are more reliant on cash and can least afford to pay withdrawal charges or travel to take out money.
The Which? report, ‘Cash-strapped communities: the loss of free access to cash in Britain’ covers the 17-month period since the fees card issuers pay to ATM operators were reduced. It also references how Post Office provides people all over the UK with access to everyday banking services through our network of 11,500 branches.
Post Office’s Banking Director, Martin Kearsley, said: “Ensuring that there is a significant free-at-the-point-of-use cash withdrawal and deposit network is vitally important to supporting every community nationwide and facilitating economic growth. This report is a reminder of the need to ensure communities across the UK have convenient, daily access to cash to both withdraw and deposit so that our economy is as inclusive as possible.
“Almost every bank customer – whether personal or small business – can access their usual high street bank account to get cash out at any Post Office branch, make a cash or cheque deposit or check their balance. The services we offer are vital, especially for rural and remote communities, and they provide an opportunity for face-to-face interaction, which is important to many.”