The UK's Nationwide Building Society has called for the rapid introduction of a Code of Practice for cash machine operators in order to avoid government-imposed regulations.
The issue of fee-charging cash machines has been raised in the House of Commons by MP James Plaskitt who has called for the industry to adopt an enforceable code of practice for cash machine operators.
In an adjournment debate Plaskitt called on the government to regulate cash machine networks to ensure that all fee-charging ATMs are required to carry prominent signs warning customers that they will be charged for using the machine and exactly how much the fee is.
Stuart Bernau, Nationwide executive director, says it is premature to be considering regulation at this stage but warns: "If as an industry we don’t get our act together then regulation will surely follow."
Recent research conducted by the Nationwide shows that five years ago virtually all ATMs in the UK were free, but now more than a third charge a fee for cash withdrawals. The Society has campaigned for the introduction of clearer labelling of fee-charging ATMs and has proposed an industry code of practice.