The British consumer watchdog publication Which? recently published findings from a study of fee-free ATM availability in the U.K. The publication found the greatest gap in fee-free service occurred on motorways across England, Scotland and Wales.

"Just six of the 98 service stations … have a free-to-use ATM in the main building," Which? said. "Other fee-charging ATMs cost between £1.85 ($2.92) and £1.99 ($3.15) per cash withdrawal despite opposition from the public to pay such fees."

Which? also published findings from a member survey:

  • An overwhelming majority (96 percent) of members resent being charged for an ATM withdrawal.
  • Almost 77 percent refuse to use fee-paying ATMs on principle, and will walk further to find a no-fee ATM.
  • Of 9 percent of members who had paid an ATM fee, 82 percent said they felt they had no other choice.

The number of fee-charging ATMs fell by 978 in the last year to 20,851; the number of fee-free ATMs grew by 2,771 to 45,033 (68 percent of the U.K. network).

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