Britain’s most expensive cash machine

And you thought a transaction fee of £1.75 was bad; The Sunday Times has found one machine charging a ridiculous £10 for the privilege of accessing your own money. The article’s worth reading: apparently the cost of transactions is around 31p, so even a £1.75 charge is taking the piss.

The article also demonstrates the scale of the problem:

Tintagel in Cornwall, for example, used to have branches of Lloyds, Barclays, NatWest and a van containing a mobile HSBC cashpoint, which made regular visits. NatWest and Barclays have closed, Lloyds is open just four hours a week and has no cash machine, and the HSBC mobile unit paid its last visit on Friday. All five machines available in Tintagel and the villages of Boscastle and Delabole charge fees.

“I refuse on principle to pay £1.50 to withdraw my own money,” said Myrna Lester, an artist who lives in Boscastle and says she faces a 34-mile round trip to Wadebridge to use a free machine.

Not only remote areas are suffering. In Speke, a poor suburb of south Liverpool, the last bank branch closed in 1998. There are no free cash machines but seven charging ones in and around the shopping parade.

7 replies on “Britain’s most expensive cash machine”

Ludicrous. Have I mentioned how I hate the banking industry? Oh and I came across the knee-high ATMs for the first time while in Scotland recently. If we’re not all using them in our wheel chairs now, we soon will be. The back injuries sustained from using them will ensure that.

Oh, don’t get me started on knee-high cash machines. I actually *do* have a back injury – I’m seeing a neurosurgeon this week to find out if we need to attack me with knives, or whether I’d be better off amputating my head – and I hate those machines will all of my little black heart.

Meanwhile, supermarkets charge nothing for cashback.

I think the answer to this is voting with your feet. If some cash-machine firm want to charge money for transactions, fair enough: if all they do is provide cash machines, then that’s their only income. However, banks shouldn’t charge if they have any sense, because free ATMs are a selling point for their accounts. So if your bank closes down its local cash machines, close your account with them. Faced with the prospect of losing a couple of hundred accounts, banks would be a bit more careful about closing ATMs.

Trouble is, most people, no matter how bad their bank get, refuse to change banks. And that’s why banks treat their customers so badly.

I think a huge part of their reluctance is the (mistaken, in most cases) belief that switching banks is a complicated and time-consuming process. Banks haven’t exactly tried to dispel that particular myth.

Switching banks can be an extremely long process. I switched from bank of scotland to royal bank and it took nearly six months. Mind you they gave me £50 to say sorry and it was a particular person’s fault rather than the whole bank.

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