MPs Raise Concerns About ATM Closures on Rural Areas

Ged Killen MP has led a Westminster Hall debate on the effect of ATM closures on towns, high streets and rural communities, emphasising the importance of ATM coverage in rural areas particularly following bank branch closures.

Speaking during the parliamentary debate, Labour MP Ged Killen mentioned concerns raised by ACS about the effect that ATM closures have had on convenience stores, noting that ATM closures have occurred at a faster rate than LINK anticipated.

MPs including Chair of the APPG on Small Shops Ruth George MP called for the Payment Systems Regulator to pre-empt to developments in the ATM market. The Government confirmed the Valuation Office Agency is considering whether to appeal the recent legal ruling to remove separate business rates bills for ‘hole in the wall’ FTU ATMs.

The 2018 Local Shop Report  revealed that 46% of convenience stores have a free to use cash machine. Cash also remains an essential method of payment for customers in convenience stores with 76% of customers paying by cash.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “As banks have exited communities convenience stores are hosting more ATMs that are greatly valued by local communities and enable spending in store and on the high streets.  Retailers should not be expected to subsidise the ATM network, without a viable interchange fee we will see fewer free to use ATMs in operation, which will disproportionately impact rural communities.”

“Approaches to payments are changing but cash is still an important pay method for consumers and local shops. Therefore, we need the Government to monitor the impact of the interchange fee cut on ATM network and intervene where necessary.”

Interchange fees are set to decline from 23.75p to 22.5p per transaction on 1st January. The Treasury Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into access to financial services which ACS will be responding to on ATMs.

The full debate is available on the parliament website here: 

This entry was posted by Chris on Thu, 06/12/2018 - 08:53