Cash machine cuts must be stopped, say small firms
Responding to the announcement that LINK is reducing its cash machine interchange fee, which may reduce ATM provision, Mike Cherry, national chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
“Access to cash is absolutely vital to local growth in rural and deprived communities. Too often we hear of towns running out of cash because current cashpoint provision simply isn’t good enough.
“Consumers and small firms have already been hit by thousands of bank branch closures in the last few years. Now, our cash machine network is under threat. We’re not convinced that today’s announcement includes enough protections for vulnerable communities.
“There’s no guarantee that having everyone within a kilometre of a cashpoint will be enough to meet demand. Equally, we need to question whether it’s right to make vulnerable ATM users travel a kilometre every time they need cash.
“The Payment Systems Regulator, Treasury Committee, major rural cash machine providers and Which? have all raised concerns about LINK’s proposals for interchange fee reduction. Following LINK’s private consultation, we now need a full, public consultation where all of those potentially impacted by these changes can have their say. This needs to happen before any changes take place.
“The PSR should halt any further action from LINK and host its own consultation or, alternatively, carry out an urgent market review.”