Reverse ATM restriction, MP asks RBS and Lloyds

RBS ATMs

An MP has increased the pressure on two banking groups to reverse their decision to limit access to cash machines for some vulnerable customers.

Andrew Tyrie, who chairs the Treasury Committee, has called on Lloyds and RBS to reconsider moves to restrict access for basic bank account customers.

Basic accounts, often opened by those with a chequered credit history, do not offer overdrafts or cheque books.

The banks have blamed high costs for the use of other banks' ATMs.

Correspondence

In August, one million RBS customers with basic bank accounts were told they could withdraw money only from RBS, NatWest, Tesco or Morrison cash machines.

In a letter to Mr Tyrie, the bank's head of retail banking, Brian Hartzer, said that these accounts were being run at a loss, which needed to be reduced. A charge was made each time a customer checked their balance or withdrew money from an ATM run by another company so these costs needed to be cut.

Lloyds Banking Group made the same argument, pointing out that the charge was 21p per transaction at branch ATMs, and rising to 35p per transaction at prime site cash machines, such as mainline railway stations.

It has 4.3 million basic bank account holders across the Lloyds TSB, Bank of Scotland and Halifax brands.

RBS and Lloyds are the two high street banks with significant taxpayer shareholdings.

Mr Tyrie said: "I understand the need to reduce costs, particularly at this difficult time.

"However, the decision to restrict access to cash machines has major implications for universal banking services and appears to target those vulnerable consumers who are most at risk of financial exclusion.

"Not every bank is restricting access. This issue would benefit from further consideration."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.