LOCAL MP CALLS FOR END TO UNFAIR WITHDRAWAL CHARGES
Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, is calling for an end to unfair charges at ATMs, particularly those in deprived areas.
Last week in the House of Commons, Mr Newlands raised Ferguslie Park constituents concerns that the only 24-hour ATM in Ferguslie Park charges 95 pence per withdrawal, making routine access to cash expensive for people local to the area. It is not the only machine to charge in the area with another charging £1 per withdrawal.
LINK is the largest network of cash machines in the UK and the ATM falls outside of LINK’s financial inclusion subsidy criteria despite the fact that, according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), Ferguslie Park is Scotland’s most deprived area.
Commenting, Newlands said:
“Access to cash has become a pressing issue, particularly as bank branches are closing at alarming rates taking their ATM’s with them.
“Impoverished areas are less likely to have widespread use of contactless and chip and pin as payment options, and having to pay almost one pound whenever you need cash can seriously eat into money which could otherwise be helping to pay bills or help put food on the table.
“Ferguslie Park is a great community, but sadly it also happens to be one of the most deprived areas in Scotland, according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. In relative terms this means that a 95p charge hits the residents of Ferguslie Park harder in the pockets than anywhere else.
“We have written to the operators of the machine and to LINK but yet to receive a satisfactory response. ATM’s are supposed to be free to use in areas of deprivation. How an area such as Ferguslie Park can slip through LINK’s Financial Inclusion Criteria makes a mockery of the scheme. I want to see this issue debated in the House of Commons, in order to raise awareness that many areas are falling through this net and to persuade the UK Government to take a course of action to resolve it.”