LINK today held the first meeting of a new Standing Committee on Consumer Issues; created to provide direct and independent input from members representing consumer interests to the governance of the UK's cash machine network.
The Committee brings together consumer representatives (including Baroness Anne Gibson OBE of Market Rasen, Mrs Margaret Bloom CBE and Nicola O’Reilly from the National Consumers Council) and Members of the LINK ATM Scheme including representatives from the largest high-street banks and from independent ATM deployers.
Ken Andrew, the independent chairman of the Committee said:
"I am delighted to have been able to chair the first meeting of the Committee. The Committee has a vital role to play in shaping the LINK Scheme's work to address important consumer issues such as access to free cash machines, and ensuring transparency of charges in cases where access to cash can only be achieved through charging machines. The Committee will hold the Scheme to account for the effectiveness of its work on these issues. I would like to welcome and thank the Committee's independent members for their commitment to this task."
The LINK ATM Scheme has since 2004 had consumer-focused objectives relating to preserving universal access of all cardholders to all UK ATMs, ensuring full transparency of any charges where these are applied, and protecting secure, reliable access to cash.
The Committee will hold the Scheme to account for its performance against these objectives and will have the right to publish an independent report each year. The Committee's future agenda will include issues such as transparency of charges, financial inclusion and access to free-of-charge cash withdrawals.