No Compromise on LINK ATM Networks Proposed Arbitrary Fee Cuts

Posted on: 27/01/2018

LINK ATM Network are proposing an arbitrary cut of 20% in ATM interchange fees, phased over a four year period.

This is quite simply a recipe for the beginning of the end of convenient access to cash in the UK. 

Let me very clear; NO level of arbitrary cut is acceptable, for the irrefutable reason that the first such cut will open the flood gates to further cuts, ultimately leading to all UK ATMs away from bank branches becoming uneconomic to operate and therefore subject to removal.

LINK have given many reasons to justify the proposed cuts, including that there are too many ATMs in the UK. Such claims are complete nonsense. On average, there are around TWICE as many cash withdrawals at UK ATMs each month as there are at machines in France and Germany. Yes, Germany, where cash is still used for around 70% of all payments!

The only reason LINK has given for cutting interchange that holds water is that one or two banks have threatened to leave the network if fees are not reduced.

The UK's banks have already saved £billions by closing branches - France still has 40,000 branches, the UK only around 8000 - but now at least some of them want to save more by taking away our ATMs.

My view is firm and unalterable. I am looking for an Independent Inquiry into LINK interchange fees and the method of their calculation. The Inquiry may propose changes BUT those changes must leave in place a transparent methodology for the regular calculation of the fees.

Arbitrary does not work for me or the ATM industry in general. More important, it does not work in the interests of the British public.

The public "vote" for UK ATMs - and cash - by using them so often. That vote CANNOT be ignored.

The Payment Systems Regulator MUST instigate an Independent Inquiry IMMEDIATELY.

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