Tuesday, September 14, 1999 Published at 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
Business: Your Money
Barclays ATM charge infuriates rivals
Barclays Bank has come under fire from rival banks and consumer groups over its decision to charge customers of other banks who use its cash machines.
It has warned that the decision will tear apart the Link network which it has taken fifteen years to set up. The Link network is an agreement between some banks and building societies which allows for reciprocal use of their cash machines.
Mervyn Pedelty of the Co-operative Bank, told the BBC that the decision "was not in the interests of consumers."
"We are hoping they will reconsider their decision. It damages the credibility of banks," he added.
NatWest said that Barclays was putting profitability before the interests of customers.
The change, which will take place in 3 weeks time, means that Barclays is the only bank which charges for the use of its machines.
Most banks already charge their customers who use cashpoints which are not part of their network, so that the Barclays decision means that some consumers will be paying twice to use a cashpoint.
It could mean that someone who withdraws £10 could face a charge of £2.50 for getting the cash - £1 to Barclays, and up to £1.50 to their own bank.
The changes will particularly hit the smaller banks and building societies who lack their own extensive ATM network.
Helping its own customers
Barclays says its plan to charge £1 per withdrawal for customers of rival banks is merely aimed at focusing on its own customers.
In July, it announced a plan for scrapping charges if its own customers make cash withdrawals from non-Barclays cashpoint machines.
It also became the first bank to display on-screen the costs to customers of cash withdrawals from its machines.
Barclays has come under pressure to improve its financial results, which led to the resignation of its chief executive last year.
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