LINK ATMs - Who Is Pressing The Buttons?

Posted on: 22/12/2017

Sir Mark Boleat, Chairman of LINK Scheme Holdings Limited ( AKA LINK ATM Network) has informed us, through the media, that it is NOT the Industry Directors at  LINK who are pressing for LINK interchange to be arbitrarily cut by 20%.

That, of course, begs the question; what ARE the Industry Directors, from a foreign bank and government-owned RBS, doing? 

We await an answer to that question.

However, in the meantime, let’s move on to look at the “Independent” Directors of LINK, whom Sir Mark claims ARE pressing for the savage cuts in interchange.

There are only three “Independent” Directors on the LINK ATM Network Board.

Lets start with Lord Hunt, if only because he is described on the LINK website as the “Senior” Independent Director.

A Conservative politician for 40 years and the occupant of many senior posts, the good Lord now Chairs the Association of Insurance Brokers. In short, he is a man of the “City” and Big Business.

Lord Hunt pulls the strings at LINK. I understand he had a key role in the recruitment of Sir Mark. Perhaps they were "pals" from their work together in the City.

Turning to the “Junior” Independent Directors, they are both ladies, though I am sure that is not the reason they have failed to earn the rank of “Senior”.

In any event, the two ladies in question are Liz Richards and Tracey Graham. They have interesting backgrounds, but both essentially have banking in their DNA. In fact, Liz Richards started her career with Lloyds Bank.

Tracey Graham is also a business “typhoon” these days, recently having being involved in a £500 Million deal. So Tracey at least seems certain to know a bit about banking large profits.

These are the three Independent Directors who want to make arbitrary huge cuts in LINK interchange, which would lead, as night follows day, to the decimation of the UK Publics free access to cash through ATMs.

I can already hear your question. Who on the LINK ATM Network Board could possibly be looking after the Public Interest ?

Not the “Independent” Directors of LINK, it would seem. They all come from City and/or banking backgrounds. The direction of their loyalties is clear enough from the course of action which they advocate. Interchange cuts favour a few big banks and certainly do not serve the interests of the UK Public. 

Sir Mark tells us interchange must be cut to keep bank members of LINK “on board”. Similar to the Captain of the Titanic keeping the passengers on deck, whilst ordering “ Full Steam Ahead “ towards the Iceberg.

If there are banks wanting to desert LINK, let’s hear those banks tell the UK Public that straight away. Transparency is ALWAYS best in Financial Services.

The truth is, Sir Mark, that there is NO future for LINK if arbitrary cuts are made in interchange, rendering many free-to-use ATMs uneconomic to operate. Such cuts would be the beginning of the end of free access to cash at ATMs - and that end would not be long delayed. A few years, at most.

The Payment Systems Regulator or the Treasury or the Bank of England or the Government  ( I do not really care which) MUST act NOW;  to press the STOP button that will halt the cuts - AND to order a full Independent Inquiry.

That is the only way to give the UK Public - that’s you and me-  the Happy Christmas and Prosperous NewYear(s) we deserve!

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