ALARMING DECLINE IN NORTH AYRSHIRE’S FREE-TO-USE CASH MACHINES
With a 26% reduction in the number of free-to-use cash machines across North Ayrshire & Arran over the last five years, mirrored by a 30% reduction across the UK, I again raised concerns in the House of Commons about free access to cash.
This is largely driven by the closure of banks and building societies.
An increasing number of cash machines are now forced to switch to a pay-to-use model, because the interchange fee that is set by LINK and paid for by banks, fails to cover the cost of maintaining cash machines as free-to-use.
The number of free-to-use cash machines will continue to decline unless the interchange fee rises to a level which properly covers the cost of providing and managing the UK’s free-to-use cash machine network, particularly in light of increases in interest rates, and the rising costs of labour and distribution.
Cash still plays a significant role in the UK economy, promoting financial inclusion for those who may not have access to digital payment methods.
I will continue to press the UK Government to review the level of the interchange fee which is set by LINK to cover the operation and management of free-to-use cash machines to ensure that my constituents can continue to access their cash for free during these difficult times.