The UK's Abbey National is to shelve ATM charges for customers and non-customers from 1 January 2001. Abbey follows the Halifax which also recently announced that it would not be introducing fees for cash machine withdrawals.
Commenting on the move, Andrew Pople, managing director of retail says: "Abbey National customers and other users of our extensive ATM network can use our machines with the confidence that Abbey National will not be making a charge. This means that there is now absolute clarity for the customer: All Abbeylink machines are free."
From the beginning of next year, all Abbey National ATMs will continue to be free of charge for any user. Abbey National customers using other bank ATMs will also not incur a disloyalty fee. They may, however, still be charged by the owner of the ATM, a charge over which Abbey National reiterates it has no control.
Abbey National has over 3,000 ATMs in the UK, with more in non-branch locations such as supermarkets, petrol stations, and convenience stores than any other bank.
Analysts are divided over whether the free ATM policy will succeed in winning customers from other banks, which are set to introduce transparent charges for non-customers from the beginning of next year.