Nationwide Building Society has been frustrated in its attempt to introduce a resolution to the UK's Link ATM network calling for clearer labelling of fee-charging cash machines.
Nationwide wanted all fee-charging machines to be clearly identifiable - with a sticker or prominent label - so that users can decide whether to withdraw money from them before inserting their cards.
At present, users are advised of a charge and given the opportunity to abort their withdrawal towards the end of the transaction.
Nationwide's resolution stated: "The NMC is requested to endorse the principle that all acquirers who surcharge for withdrawals should, by 1/4/04, prominently identify, by physical means, all those machines where surcharging occurs, in such a way as will be clear to a potential user BEFORE the card transaction is commenced."
The resolution was voted down by Link members.
One in four cash machines in the UK now charges customers a fee for cash withdrawals. Increasingly fee-charging machines operated by independent service providers are being installed in locations close to more traditional free cash machines in the High Street, rather than remote locations with a low footfall of users, where there are no alternative ways for people to withdraw money.
Nationwide executive director, Stuart Bernau, says: "We just can't see why Link members have rejected this out of hand - it's very disappointing. This was a real opportunity for the industry to improve transparency, help consumers and clear up some of the confusion that exists over which machines charge and which don't."