Free-to-use cash machines 'essential for majority'


More than three-quarters of people see free-to-use ATMs as an essential part of their life, a survey has found.

Some 77% of people say it is either fairly or very essential for them to be able to access a cash machine free of charge, a survey of more than 2,000 people across Britain from campaign group Positive Money found.

Just over one in five (22%) believe such access is not essential, according to the research.

The survey, conducted by YouGov, was released following controversy over a planned shake-up of the ATM network.

Cash machine network Link has previously confirmed it will go ahead with proposals to cut the fees operators receive from banks when ATMs are used.

But some bodies have raised concerns that thousands of free cash machines could be at risk of being removed or changed to fee-charging.

Link has said its plans will include protecting cash machines in remote areas where they are really needed.

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has previously said it will continue to actively monitor developments.

Positive Money said it would like the PSR to be given new enhanced powers to stop closures.

David Clarke, head of policy and advocacy at Positive Money, said: "This polling shows the huge extent to which Britons still rely on free ATMs."

Positive Money is a a not-for-profit research and campaigning body funded by charitable trusts and foundations.