Which? urges banks to clear up cashpoint charge muddle

Which? urges banks to clear up cashpoint charge muddle

UK consumers' association Which? is calling on banks to clear up confusion over cashpoint fees after finding that almost half of people believe that they will be charged for withdrawing cash at ATMs.

Which? says that fewer than a quarter (23%) of people correctly know that the only places they’ll be charged for withdrawing cash are convenience cash points. Almost one in five people (18%) wrongly thought they would never be charged for withdrawing cash.

In its response to the 2004 review of the Banking Code, the Consumers' Association calls for this muddle to be cleared up by introducing a standardised message on cashpoints that clearly sets out the charging structures in place.

The Association is also pushing for the Code to address consumer confusion over credit card charges. Other demands include same-day electronic transfers as standard and speedier cheque clearing systems, and for the Code to address specific concerns relating to credit cards and loans, including a ban on unsolicited credit card cheques and credit limit increases.

Rebecca Fearnley, principal researcher, Which? says: "Banks aren’t helping to clear up their customers’ confusion; lots of people don’t even realise that almost all bank-owned cashpoints are free. And consumers with credit cards find it practically impossible to compare costs. The Banking Code must ensure consumers can access transparent, readily available information to inform everyday choices like these."

In its response to the ongoing review of the UK Banking Codes, the Office of Fair Trading last week agreed that consumers should benefit from float while waiting for funds to clear and have clearer account information.

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