Overwhelming majority say cash machines should be free

An overwhelming majority of people in the UK – 93 per cent – believe that all cash machines should be free, says research by Citizens Advice.

A further 88 per cent said that they would only pay to access their cash as a last resort, with most saying that 30p was a fair price.

Just 4.3 per cent said that more than 50p would be a reasonable amount to pay. This compares to average withdrawal charges of £1.75.

Almost half of respondents to the poll (46.3 per cent) said that they had been charged by a machine without any prior warning.

Almost three quarters said that better signs and warnings would have enabled them to make a choice whether to accept the charges or not.

“Consumers clearly think charges for using cash machines are excessive, unfair and on the increase,” said director of policy at Citizens Advice Teresa Perchard.

“They hit people on low incomes and those living in deprived areas particularly hard, and this is made worse by recent bank and post office closures, and the move to pay all benefits into accounts.

“We think banks and cash machines should always display clear warnings about when charges will be imposed and how much these will be, and our survey confirms that at the moment this is not always happening.”

Citizens Advice is calling on the industry and government to allow consumers a better chance to compare current account charges when they withdraw cash ahead of a major conference on the issue.

© Adfero Ltd

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