The Scottish Affairs Committee holds a one-off session to examine the long-term future of the ATM network, particularly in rural areas, in light of proposals to change the way it is funded.
LINK, the network responsible for 82% of all UK cash machine withdrawals, has announced a reduction in the fees paid by banks to fund the network from 25p to 20p per withdrawal. LINK have said that the changes are designed to maintain and rebalance the UK's cash machine network. They have included measures designed to incentivise provision for rural and less affluent areas, removing fees and increasing subsidies for machines in poorly served areas.
However there are concerns that the proposals have been driven by pressure from banks to reduce costs and don't reflect the needs of consumers, with the Federation of Small Businesses warning that the proposals risked the closure of thousands of free-to-use cash machines.
Tuesday 15 May, Committee Room 8, House of Commons
- Stuart Mackinnon, External Affairs Manager – Scotland, Federation of Small Businesses
- Richard Piggin, Head of External Affairs, Which?
- Ron Delnevo, Executive Director Europe, ATMIA
- Duncan Faithfull, Director of Corporate Affairs, Cardtronics
- John Howells, CEO, LINK
- Eric Leenders, Managing Director – Personal Finance, UK Finance
- Hannah Nixon, Managing Director, Payment Systems Regulator
Ahead of the session, Committee Chair Pete Wishart commented:
"While alternatives to cash are becoming more common, going cashless simply isn't feasible for many people. In rural and urban areas, quick and easy access to cash remains a vital resource and is essential to the health of the local economy.
However, even now, in major towns and cities as well as the countryside, it can be all too difficult to access cash. There are concerns that the proposed changes to these fees could cause the loss of thousands of free-to-use machines. In this one-off session we will hear from service providers and consumer groups to gauge the true impact of these proposals."