Highlands MP, Jamie Stone, has led a group of 26 cross-party MPs calling on the Payments System Regulator (PSR) and the Government to take action on the interchange fee – allowing for ATMs up and down the country to become once again free to use.
The decision from LINK to cut the fee paid by banks to ATM providers for every cash withdrawal has passed costs usually paid by banks onto consumers, resulting in the lack of free-to-use cash machines.
10,500 free-to-use cash machines have already disappeared across the UK in the past two years - with 1 in 4 ATMs now charging Scots to withdraw cash.
The letter - signed by the Liberal Democrats, SNP, Labour, and Conservative parties- as well as the Parliamentary motion introduced by Mr Stone advocates for the PSR to introduce a tiered or zonal approach to interchange fees, which would ensure funding is fairly distributed throughout the UK to protect access to cash in all communities.
After sending the letter, Jamie Stone MP commented:
It’s unacceptable that my constituents have to pay to access their hard earned cash.
There are those who are vulnerable or elderly or simply live too far away from a free-to-use ATM - it’s the regular and disadvantaged folks in the community that are bearing the brunt of this.
I hope the regulator and the Government take up my proposals, rethink their current position and introduce a fairer system for all.