The DUP’s East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has raised the issue of the decline of free to use ATMs in our towns and villages.
Mr Campbell said,
“The worrying trend of the rapid decline in free-to-use ATMs and its damaging impact on businesses and consumers is a major concern.
In East Londonderry, there has been a 19% decline in free-to-use ATMs since 2018 according to data from LINK – the UK’s ATM network. The impact of this is particularly felt in rural communities, among the older population and on small businesses. We must work collectively to protect this vital community resource.
This is leaving people financially excluded and unable to easily and freely access cash to pay for goods and services. Whilst this is particularly damaging for the most vulnerable, it impacts people across our communities. This coupled with the closures of bank branches in many areas throughout Northern Ireland it concerns me that many are being left with difficulties in rural areas accessing their day to day finances.
The crisis also harms small businesses who rely on cash, with a significant impact on high streets up and down the UK as a whole already facing considerable challenges. Solving the ATM crisis is incredibly important to helping small businesses bounce back, aiding the UK’s wider economic recovery, whilst also protecting consumers.
Government proposals need to maintain universal access or the funding to protect vital services, such as the free to use ATM network.” Mr. Campbell added.