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RBS and Lloyds perform U-turn on ATM access restrictions

13 June 2014  |  5630 views  |  1 ATM

Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group are ditching their restrictions on customers with basic accounts using rivals' cash machines.

In 2011 RBS revealed that it had followed Lloyds' lead and was preventing around one million basic account holders from using cash machines belonging to other banks.

The part state-owned institutions argued that letting these customers use rival ATMs was unsustainable because they could not recover the costs incurred each time a transaction took place.

The move attracted criticism, prompting a report from Treasury Select Committee, which bemoaned the negative effect on financial inclusion and concluded that it saved the banks a relatively small £10 to £12 per account.

RBS has now performed a U-turn with CEO Ross McEwan, saying: "We looked at this and decided it just wasn't right. You don't make life harder for those who need your help most. We need to rebuild trust with our customers."

Lloyds is also changing its position, writing to basic account holders to let them know that they will soon have access to other banks' ATMs.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 16 June, 2014, 09:03

Inclusiveness should surely be part of a bank's mandatory obligations. It was a good decision to reverse the stance on this. Needless to say, the Treasury Select Committee and the wheels and cogs of the FCA would have otherwise turned regulate against such a policy. 

Point of sale and merchant acquiring are tremendously lucrative and surely net off the costs of serving retail accounts. Banks need to think holistically about the services they provide and consider worth in terms other than pure profitability.  

£12 per account is nothing compared the cost of sponsorship deals such as football, racing etc. Be known for your service quality, not who you sponsor.

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