The Building Societies Association (BSA) is backing calls by its largest member, the Nationwide, for greater transparency of cash machine charges.
The industry group is calling on the banks and national interchange network Link to introduce upfront notification of ATM withdrawal fees on all machines that levy a charge. Link members recently voted down a resolution from Nationwide to put stickers on fee-charging machines.
Adrian Coles, director-general of the BSA says: "No building society currently makes a charge to any customer for withdrawing cash from ATMs. In addition, they have no plans to do so....It is telling that yet again banks are rejecting calls by building societies to play fair."
Cash machine charges are most unfair for those people who only want to draw out a small amount of money, says Coles, while the introduction of directly paid benefits to claimants means that there are more people who will be using ATMs to draw out their pension or child allowance.
"For instance a family with two children receives approximately £107 per month in child benefit," he points out. "If they were to withdraw £20 per week from a convenience ATM, charging £1.50, that would mean that 7.5% of the weekly allowance would be paid straight to the bank or ATM owner."
The campaign has also been picked up by Halifax Bank of Scotland and retail joint venture partner Sainsbury's Bank. HBOS says it will join forces with other financial institutions calling for greater transparency at the next Link meeting.
Rob Devey, head of banking, HBOS, says: "We are totally supportive of the idea of making customers aware of which ATM's place a sucharge on transactions. Consumers should know exactly what the charge is before they decide whether to use that machine or not."