Prospect of 'ATM deserts' alarms UK Parliament
Politicians in the U.K. are responding to warnings raised by the ATM Industry Association that the reduction in exchange fees proposed by the Link ATM network will create 'ATM deserts' in parts of the country.
According to a report by The Guardian, the Conservative leader of the government's Treasury committee has asked Link for an accounting of possible closures among the U.K.'s approximately 55,000 free-to-use cash machines.
Link has put forward a plan to cut the amount that member financial institutions pay for ATM transactions from 25 pence to 20 pence (34 cents to 27 cents).
ATMIA has warned that such a deep cut would render at least 10,000 free-to-use ATMs nonviable to operate, an outcome described as "intuitive" in a letter from Nicky Morgan, head of the Treasury committee, to Link chairman Sir Mark Boleat.
However, Boleat has downplayed the possible effects of the fee reduction, saying that Link members "do not envision any scenario" in which citizens would not have free access to cash.