Regulator to crack down on ATM closures

Regulator to crack down on ATM closures

The UK's Payment Systems Regulator is promising to take action to protect the availability of free-to-use cash machines across the country after the publication of new figures by network operator Link which show more than 250 machines a month disappearing from the high street.

Link's ATM Footprint Report found that between the end of January and the start of July 2018, the number of free-to-use ATMs fell from 54,500 to 53,200. Although Link's figures show the majority of closures in well-served areas, 76 machines in 'protected' rural areas (ie at least 1 kilometre or more away from another free-to-use ATM) where shuttered.

"Given the public commitments by Link to preserve the broad geographic spread of FTU ATMs across the UK, we are concerned about the closures of protected FTU ATMs," states the PSR. "We have always been clear that we would take action if it is needed. To ensure Link does meet its commitments we will now be developing a Specific Direction which will require Link to fully develop its policies and processes for applying and implementing its commitments and to report to us on a regular basis."

Hannah Nixon, the PSR’s managing director adds: “Link should be in no doubt about the importance of this work. We will continue to work closely with its senior team to ensure these improvements are implemented as soon as possible.

“Our banks also play an important part in this, as they use the Link network to help people access their cash. We are engaging with the banks to seek their renewed commitment to a widespread geographic network of free-to-use ATMs."

Comments: (5)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 September, 2018, 10:25Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Banks' put pressure on acquirer interchange fees as they close ATMs and become net issuers=Link reduce acquirer interchange fees=(3rd party) FTU ATMs close or start surcharging.

Bo Harald
Bo Harald - Transmeri, Demos, Real Time Economy Program,MyData - Helsinki Region 12 September, 2018, 11:58Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Protecting cash - costing unknowing consumers (via merchants) 50 bn euros a year. Why on earth?

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 September, 2018, 13:101 like 1 like

With the rapid increase in the use of contactless in UK, is there really a case for banks to run a hugh, free to use ATM network? Is this a keen jerk reaction of a regulator who did not see this coming. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 September, 2018, 15:193 likes 3 likes ATMs are a 20th century innovation that developed in a competitive environment without regulatory intervention. Now their use is coming to an end we have a regulator with a remit to promote competition and innovation focusing on the past rather than the future. PSR - preservation of superseded rails?
David Kuwana
David Kuwana - DNT Consulting - London 13 September, 2018, 07:51Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Interesting that the comments for to savings for the bank, not convenience for customers. Customers should have the choice of payment methods as each has its advantages depending on your needs.  Example - With cash, it is easier to control your expenditure. when it runs out you stop.  Contactless in the bar can lead to a VERY expensive night.