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Last Updated: Friday, 1 July, 2005, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
New rules make ATM fees clearer
Person using a cash machine
There are more than 54,000 cash machines across the UK
People using fee-charging cash machines are to be told the approximate fee they will be charged, under new rules which come into force on Friday.

Fee-charging machines will have to display on screen how much the customer is being charged for a cash withdrawal.

The rules also set a minimum size for notices on the front of the cash machine, warning that there is a charge for withdrawal.

But critics of fee-charging machines say that the rules don't go far enough.

Charges spread

Day by day consumers' right to access cash for free is being eroded by the rapid growth in charging machines
Charles Reed, Nationwide

Consumer groups have expressed concern about the spread of fee-charging cash machines.

There are currently more than 54,000 cash machines in the UK, four out of ten of which charge a fee. Consumers now pay 140m a year to access their own money.

A few years ago, only a handful of machines charged a fee.

Consumer groups and campaigners have called for a cap to be imposed on fees and the spread of fee-charging machines to be halted.

"Day by day consumers' right to access cash for free is being eroded by the rapid growth in charging machines and by the fact that there is no cap on the charges," Charles Reed, director at the Nationwide Building Society, said.

At the same time as the new rules came into force, fee-charging cash machine provider Moneybox unveiled plans to expand its network.

About two-thirds of the group's 3,000 cash machines are currently in convenience stores.

The firm said it planned to roll out cash machines in free-standing kiosks in busy locations, such as shopping centres.

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