Is this the end of free cash withdrawals?

Thousands of Link cash machines across the country could start charging people for cash withdrawals, all because of a row about fees between members of the ATM network.

The dispute arose because of a move by some of the financial firms which use the Link network to reduce the fees they pay to allow their customers to withdraw cash from Link’s 70,000 cash machines across the UK.

If an agreement between Link and the firms cannot be reached, some firms might ‘break away’ and start charging its customers to withdraw their cash from these machines.

It is also possible that, even if an agreement is not reached, some of the unprofitable machines (i.e. machines that are rarely used) could still impose a withdrawal charge.

The move could prompt customers to switch to local banks, or banks with an abundance of cash machines, since users do not have to pay to withdraw cash from their own bank’s cash machines.

However, many local banks are being forced to close branches due to the fall in demand for physical banks. The Clydesdale and Yorkshire banking group, for instance, has announced that they will be closing 79 branches, citing the trend towards electronic banking as the main reason.

Charging for cash withdrawals is widely unpopular with consumers, who resent having to pay to access their own money. If the move does go ahead, one thing is clear: consumers may need to start thinking more carefully about where they get their money from.

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Last updated: Tuesday, 24 January 2017

 
 
 
 
 
 

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