Following HBOS' previous announcement of its commitment to provide 100 new fee-free ATMs in low income areas across Scotland and Northern England, 50 new Halifax and Bank of Scotland ATMs are now live and operational.
The new fee-free ATMs are located in areas, where previously there were no ATMs or only surcharging machines. This includes three in the North East, 14 in the North West, nine in Yorkshire and the Humber and 24 in Scotland.
Each ATM is clearly labeled to show that HBOS will not levy any charge for using the machine. HBOS was the first ATM provider to colour code its ATMs to inform customers that the ATMs provided free cash withdrawals.
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HBOS provides more than half of all social banking accounts in the UK. It currently has around 3.6 million basic bank accounts.
Edwin Latter, LINK ATM scheme director said:
"HBOS has been quick to turn commitment into reality with its work to bring new free-of-charge cash machines to areas previously without them. The 50 ATMs it has installed will benefit dozens of communities and tens of thousands of people."
John McFall MP, chairman of the Treasury Committee - he also chaired the ATM Working Group - said: "The ATMs initiative has produced excellent results and has been well received in low income areas right across the country. People in these areas really appreciate this access to free-of-charge transactions. Those on benefit who would be faced with significant charges were they to make their cash withdrawals in small amounts at a time as they are recommended to do have gained a great deal from this. I am really pleased with the progress that has been made in just a few months."
Paul Lawe, head of ATMs at HBOS said:
"The feedback we have had from communities around Scotland and Northern England which have not had free access to their cash has been excellent. We have firm plans to install free to use ATMs in many more locations and these will be in place over the next few months. We continue to work with local communities and are confident that before the end of 2007, we will have 100 ATMs in place."