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Last Updated: Friday, 5 November, 2004, 16:35 GMT
Probe into cash machine charges
A person using a cash machine
Many are free, but every year consumers rack up 60m in charges
The Treasury Select Committee is launching a probe into cash machine charges, it has announced.

The move follows a report by Nationwide building society, which said cash machine charges were now costing consumers more than 60m a year.

Five years ago virtually all cash machines were free, but more than one in every three machines now charge.

During the past six months the number of ATMs that charge had risen by 40% from around 13,000 to 18,500, it said.

MPs will quiz banks and cash machine providers about the transparency of charges and whether the trend towards fee-based cash machines in locations such as convenience stores is having an unfair impact on low-income households.

According to Nationwide's research, more than a quarter of those withdrawing cash from a charging machine have taken out 20 or less.

With a typical charge of 1.50, this equates to an additional charge of 7.5% for making a 20 withdrawal.

Written submissions should be received by 6 December, the committee said in a statement.

The BBC's Brian Milligan
"Machines that charge are springing up in shops, service stations and pubs"

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