ATM closures could leave elderly struggling

Atm web

Age Scotland has expressed concern about a further reduction in banking facilities

1st May 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Reducing banking facilities could leave older people struggling to access their cash.

Age Scotland has warned that pensioners will be hard hit by cuts to free-to-use ATMs.

The issue was due to be debated in the Scottish Parliament today (Tuesday, 1 May), with the charity joining Which? and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in urging MSPs to support an urgent review of the potential implications of cuts for consumers.

There are around 5300 free-to-use ATMs as part of the LINK network in Scotland.

But the interchange fee the machines' owners receive from banks per transaction is to be cut from 25p to 20p from July 2018, leading to fears from banking experts that more than half of ATMs could disappear.

A study by Which? found that nine in 10 people said cash machines were important to their everyday lives.

Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland, said: “Following the latest waves of bank closures, it’s very worrying to hear about further cuts to free-to-use ATMs. Older people will be hardest hit, especially in rural areas, since they are more likely to rely on cash for day-to-day purchases.

“If their nearest free ATM closes, they may struggle to access their cash without paying extortionate rates of up to £2.99 at some pay-to-use machines."

Dean Lockhart, Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, has lodged a motion on the issue which is due to be debated in Scottish Parliament.