The Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Andrew Tyrie MP, has written to the Chief Executives of RBS and Lloyds raising concerns about their policy to restrict basic bank account holders from using cash machines owned by other banks.
Andrew Tyrie MP said:
We are concerned about restrictions on access to using other banks cash machines for basic bank account holders at Lloyds and RBS
This change threatens to increase financial exclusion as it leaves basic bank account holders at the two banks unable to access the majority of cash machines in the UK
This could signal the end of universal access to cash machines for all customers – which would stifle competition and be bad for consumers.
We have written to both banks asking for an explanation of their policy to restrict access to cash machines for their basic account holders and seeking assurances that both banks remain committed to providing basic bank accounts.
Basic bank accounts offer many of the usual services available from a standard current account, including a debit card, direct debits, standing orders and cash withdrawals. However, they don't come with an overdraft facility. As a result, they can be useful for consumers with a poor credit history (or no credit history at all) who find it difficult to access mainstream banking services.
RBS announced their decision to restrict basic bank account customers from using cash machines owned by other banks in August 2011. Lloyds TSB already has such restrictions in place.