UK to be charged £18m at ATMs this Christmas, says bank

The UK finance industry is urging credit and debit card users to boycott charging ATMs in the countdown to Christmas.

Figures compiled by the industry suggest that UK card users will be charged up to £18 million in bank machine fees over the Christmas season.

Cash machine operator Link says that it estimates that ATM charges will total a record £16.5 million over the month.

Over the course of 2005, ATM charges will earn their operators £250 million.

Almost 24,000 of the UK’s 56,000 cash machines now charge customers for granting access to their money.

Credit card users may have grown used to balance transfer fees but many still resent having to pay for access to money, with 93 per cent saying that it is “unacceptable”.

The convenience of machines evidently proves too great a temptation for many, however, and banks and building societies warn that the number of charging machines will only grow.

“Christmas is expensive enough without paying to access your own money. All charging machines are required to have clear warnings, so ATM fees are an unnecessary cost that can be avoided,” said Stuart Bernau, executive director of Nationwide.

“People should say no to charging cash machines and make ATM fees a ghost of Christmas past.”

© Adfero Ltd

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