Today’s government announcement that more than 1 million consumers at over 470 sites in targeted areas will enjoy the benefits of a local free-of-charge cash machine (ATM), is welcomed by LINK and its member banks, building societies and cash machine operators who have been working to turn this initiative into reality.
In December last year, the ATM Working Group chaired by John McFall MP, Chairman of the Treasury Committee, agreed that around 600 new free-to-use cash machines were needed in communities that did not currently enjoy the benefits of such a machine.
Six months on, a total of 471 sites in the target areas have been identified, with 127 ATMs live and issuing cash to the public, and 344 under contract to be installed.
Work to identify further sites continues, with the key task being the identification of suitable premises.
Edwin Latter, LINK Scheme Director said: “New free-of-charge cash machines which have been installed in target areas in, among other places, London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, the North East and South Wales will bring important benefits to local communities. In total, around 250,000 consumers already have a new free cash machine in their local area with a further 800,000 due to get one within the next few months.
“LINK’s members – banks, building societies and independent cash machine operators – have made substantial progress over the past months towards fulfilling the ambitions of MPs, government and consumer groups to bring free-of-charge cash machines to communities where these can make the most difference. It is great to see hundreds of new free-of-charge cash machines now appearing on the ground."
In addition, around 100 existing free-of-charge cash machines have been identified as “the last in town” in key areas. These have been given special status in the LINK Scheme to help ensure they continue to serve the communities in which they are located.
The new free-to-use cash machines have been installed by banks, building societies and independent ATM operators.
Maps showing progress made in key target areas can be found on the LINK website (http://www.link.co.uk/atm/access_to_cash_progress/index.html)
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