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Friday 26th May 2006


May 2006 set to have two busiest days ever for cash machine withdrawals

Cash machines across the country can expect their busiest ever day as Bank Holiday weekend approaches.

According to LINK, operators of the UK cash machine network, the Friday before the May Bank Holiday four weeks ago was the previous busiest day ever for cash machine transactions. In the UK, 19.5 million transactions were carried out that day with a value of £726.7 million. LINK expects that record to be matched or exceeded on Friday 26th May.

Across the UK, at the lunchtime peak of 1.13pm on May Day Friday, over 300 transactions were being processed by LINK every second.

Around 96% of all cash withdrawals in the UK are free of charge. Since last summer, all machines which charge must carry three clear warnings of charges that customers who prefer not to pay should look out for, (1) on the outside of the machine, (2) on the initial screen as they approach the ATM, and (3) before they complete the transaction.

Graham Mott, LINK spokesman said, “We anticipate that Friday 26th May could well be another record day in many places. LINK’s rules about signage at charging ATMs, introduced on the 1st July 2005, and robustly monitored mean that customers should have increased confidence that they cannot be charged without their knowledge.”

Mott added, “It is also the last Friday of the month and a bank holiday weekend, so people will be stocking up on cash to last them through the extra day. As always on bank holidays, warm sunny days fuel the appetite for cash as people head out for shopping or go out with friends and family, so an improvement in the weather forecast may be needed to break the record."

Notes to Editors:

In the past five years the number of LINK cash machines has grown from 36,000 to over 58,000 today and of these, over 33,100 are free to use, an all time high.

Around 96% of all cash withdrawals are free of charge. A further 4% of cash withdrawals are made at charging machines, usually in convenience or remote locations where it would not be economic to run a free machine.

The value of free-of-charge LINK cash withdrawals has increased steadily year-on-year from around £3.7 billion per month in 2002 to over £7.7 billion per month today, as customers have become increasingly aware that the LINK Network means they can use for free any machine that does not display explicit warnings of charges.

The LINK ATM network connects all but a handful of the UK’s 58,000 free and charging cash machines. The LINK ATM Scheme sets, polices and enforces rules on transparency of charges where these are applied.

For further information, please contact:

Gug Kyriacou or Peter Fitzpatrick
hbl media
Tel: +44 020 7612 1830