Treasury Committee Chair Nicky Morgan warns over access to cash from ATMs
Vulnerable people could struggle to access cash if proposed changes to the ATM network go ahead, chair of the powerful Treasury Select Committee Nicky Morgan has warned.
A consultation by LINK - the UK's largest cash machine network - could lead to a reduction in the fees banks pay each time their account holders withdraw cash.
But Ms Morgan warned that changing the so-called 'interchange fees' could make many free-to-use cash machines economically unviable
“Reports on the future of free-to-use ATMs have left many consumers understandably concerned about their ability to access cash in the future," Ms Morgan said.
“As bank closures increase, so too does the reliance on free-to-use ATMs. The ability of consumers to access cash must not suffer.”
The proposals by LINK would see the 25p fee paid from card issuers to ATM operators reduced to 20p.
Mrs Morgan has previously warned that the proposed changes could create "ATM deserts" in communities throughout the UK, where 2.7 million people are still reliant on cash.
LINK has insisted it is "resolutely committed to protecting cash access" and has vowed to triple the maximum subsidy for ATMs in rural and less affluent communities.
Ms Morgan also raised concerns that the LINK consultation had been "rushed" and conducted without a "suitable degree of transparency".
The top Tory MP urged the Payment Systems Regulator to take action if any party fails to "engage appropriately" with the process.