Moneybox calls off takeover talks; lobbies for share of Link interchange fees
15 December 2004 | 4291 views | 0
Independent ATM operator Moneybox has discontinued talks with potential suitors while it awaits the outcome of a government inquiry into cash machine fees.
The struggling UK-based vendor was approached by unspecified third parties after warning in September of a £1.5 million shortfall in profits for the year. In a trading statement, Moneybox has confirmed September's guidance and signalled £4 million in exceptional costs relating to cost-cutting measures instituted in the intervening period.
The firm says it has also made a detailed submission to the Treasury Select Committee (TSC), which is to conduct an investigation into ATM charges. Moneybox is lobbying the Committee for a share of the interchange fee currently available to banks operating over the national Link network. The firm says upfront consumer access fees could be lowered if it were able to recover an interchange fee through Link.
Moneybox says the TSC investigation provides an opportunity to encourage wider scrutiny of the current regulatory regime governing ATMs.
"We believe strongly that changes in the structure of charges made by Link, the monopoly supplier of switching services between card-issuers and ATM deployers, would potentially be of benefit to consumers and would significantly improve the competitive position of IADs (independent ATM deployers)," the statement continues. "In the light of this, and in view of the nature of approaches so far received, the Board has decided it would be inappropriate to continue talks with any potential offerors."