[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 26 November, 2004, 18:37 GMT
Have your say: Cash machine charges
A growing number of cash machines are now not run by banks but by independent operators who may charge around 1.50 or more for the service.

About 20,000 machines are generally located away from the High St in small shops, pubs, or garages; a market the banks are moving out of.


Treasury inquiry into cash machine charges

The Treasury Committee is interested in receiving evidence from members of the public of specific areas where access to free machines is limited, and individual cash machines where clarity of charges is inadequate.

If members of the public wish to draw the attention of the committee to an individual machine that does not prominently display a warning that a charge will be made, they should give the location of the machine, and if possible supply a digital picture.


A selection of views that Money Box has received:

I would object strongly and start shopping for a new bank if mine charged me for withdrawals, but I see getting cash from other companies' machines as a convenient privilege.

Banks are in business to make profits, too, so they have to make a judgement between imposing charges and losing customers.

It is not practical for me to visit my "home" bank branch since I am based overseas and travel a lot.

I also bank in the US... here you always get charged for using another bank's ATM
Pete Newman
So in the UK I rely on cash machines and, increasingly, on "cash-back" when shopping with a debit card.

The latter would seem to benefit everyone including the retailer, who thus reduces the cash they are carrying.

I also bank in the US. Here, you always get charged for using another bank's ATM, but cash-back from shopping with a debit card is free nationwide and a great convenience when travelling.
Pete Newman

There should not be any charges for using a cash machine. The machines benefit the banks, saving them from having to employ more people.

They cannot have it both ways. They make vast sums of money from the slow process of cheque-clearing and the exorbitant charges for writing letters and so on. Therefore they should stop being so greedy.
Jennifer

No matter what the circumstances I never use cash machines that charge to withdraw my money. It is akin to yet another tax on hard earned money!
Colin Morrison

I would rather have the choice of using a cash machine in my local village shop, even if it does cost me 1.50 to use, as opposed to having to drive into my nearest town, pay to park and then walk to the cash machine in the centre of town.

I accept that there needs to be a charge to make this more convenient ATM viable
Darren Harley
I accept that there needs to be a charge to make this more convenient ATM viable as clearly the volumes will always be lower then a town centre site.

If the choice is a fee charging ATM or no ATM at all then surely a fee charging one has to be better. No-one is forced to use it.

I would not expect to pay to use my own bank's machine, but I do not really see why I should expect other banks and building societies, with which I have no relationship, to provide me with free services.

I don't expect Curry's to replace a faulty TV that I bought from Comet because it happens to be more convenient for me to take it back to them, so why should I expect the banks to do similar.
Darren Harley

I am against charges for cash machines. If you are of limited means, for example, a pensioner, unemployed, or sick, you would have no choice but to pay a fee.

Since it is probably the little-used dispensers which will carry charges, they may well be placed in "undesirable" areas of deprivation or financial lack.

The banks are happy to ignore people of limited means, as they do not have much financial clout.

I think the banks should show some sense of social responsibility, taking some of their substantial profit to subsidise the lower end of our society.

Do they have no social conscience?
Gary

While staying at Hamble, Hampshire, I needed to withdraw some cash. I went into my bank branch in the village to use the machine.

To my surprise I was told it would cost me 1.50 to withdraw my money. I aborted the transaction and went to another bank where I was not charged. Crazy or what?
Doreen Lampard

As most of the machines that charge are in out-of-town locations, such as village pubs, general stores and so on, the fee covers the convenience factor.

There is nothing to stop anyone driving in to the nearest town to a free cash machine
Peter Jones
After all, there is nothing to stop anyone driving in to the nearest town to a free cash machine.

I suspect the whole argument just boils down to "lets bash the banks" this week.
Peter Jones

I refuse to pay for my own cash which the bank makes money on every month. Even though they pay me interest they still make their margin.

People should boycott cash machines that charge for your cash. Then they would soon be removed.
Jim Leighton

I will not pay to withdraw my own money. Wondering who is watching and whether the machine has been tampered with stops me using them in UK.

However, I do find them very useful abroad in the most out-of-the-way places. But even then we are wary and use ones attached to banks in a room with an armed guard on the premises.

I also object to paying bank charges on the few occasions when I am overdrawn, and always write for a refund.
G Lillis

Pensioners, and those on small incomes, only draw out tiny amounts as this is all we have, and a blanket charge will often hit the poorest people the hardest
Brian Jackson
No sooner do they close our local post office and tell us of the advantage of having a pension or benefit paid directly to our bank, do we now hear that we are to have to pay for the privilege.

Pensioners, and those on small incomes, only draw out tiny amounts as this is all we have, and a blanket charge will often hit the poorest people the hardest.
Brian Jackson

When people say "paying to get out their own money," it is not quite true.

In our modern world we expect ultra-convenience but are unwilling to pay the price
David Jin
Banks are giving you a service. Who says that everything must be free?

In our modern world we expect ultra-convenience but are unwilling to pay the price.

That said, unfortunately it will be the elderly and unemployed who bear the brunt of this menace. The rest of us use credit cards to buy mostly everything and rarely need to use this type of ATM.
David Jin

As a busy sixth form student, I do not have a lot of time to do paid work and so my spending is limited.

I will normally only withdraw 10 a time from cash machines. I rarely need to spend more. So why should I pay 1.50 (15%!) to withdraw my own money?

I should not have to, and so refuse to use charging machines.
Hereward Mills

I am convinced that if people were aware the cash machine companies could make 30 pence per transaction from the banks and keep withdrawals free for the customer, then more would refuse to pay such high charges.

Most people who do not accept the charge avoid the machines altogether
name here
Volume was mentioned as a reason why some locations charge, but I am sure that many more people would use the machines if they thought they were free.

It was said that 90% of people accept the charge. But that is because most people who do not accept the charge avoid the machines altogether. You can usually tell which machines will charge.

Make these convenience machines obviously free and the volume of use will instantly increase. I for one would use them all the time!
Isabelle McNeill

It is a return to the old days, when customers withdrawing cash from an "away" branch were charged the indispensable phone call to their home branch for authorisation.

Why not scrap the interest paid on current accounts, a risible 0.1%, and use the proceeds to cover the bank's costs when withdrawals are made from another bank's machines.

In France, there is no interest on current accounts, but four to eight cash withdrawals per month are free of any charge and can be made from any bank's cash dispensers anywhere in the country.
RS

I refuse to pay to get my own money out of a cash machine, that may even have been tampered with by fraudsters attempting to record the details on my debit card.

I have ceased to use cash machines and prefer to visit my own bank personally to withdraw funds
David Edwards
Due to the above problems I have ceased to use cash machines and prefer to visit my own bank personally to withdraw funds.

That way I am not having to pay for the privilege of withdrawing my own money, and I can be certain my details are not being recorded by thieves!
David Edwards

The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. It is helpful if contributors state if they work for any organisation relevant to an issue discussed. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.



Money Box


SEARCH MONEY BOX:
 

Podcast

Download or subscribe to this programme's podcast

Podcast Help



SEE ALSO:
Probe into cash machine charges
05 Nov 04 |  Business
Cash machine charges 'escalate'
20 Sep 04 |  Business


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific