– Lack of access to ATM’s disproportionately affects low-income groups, the disabled, and the elderly
– Free cash machines should be included in all new major developments
Pay-to-use cash machines cost Londoners £18million a year, according to a new report.
The report “Cash for Access: Expanding the availability of new cash machines” calls for fee-free cash machines to be included in all new major developments across London. It also calls for free-to-use cash machines to be installed in public buildings and TfL stations to help improve access.
In the past two years over 40 bank branches have closed across the capital making access to free cash withdrawals more difficult. Many Londoners now live more than 1km from a free cash machine and due mobility issues are required to pay for withdrawals. On average people are paying £1.75 a withdrawal, but that can sometimes be as high as £5 or £10.
The report is looking to have cash machines classed as “social infrastructure” as the lack of access disproportionately affects low-income groups, the disabled, and the elderly. Many cash-strapped Londoners use cash as a way of budgeting, so access to withdrawals is important.
The report author, London Assembly Member Shaun Bailey said;
“Contactless and online payment technology may be the future, but there are still many Londoners who rely on cash to get by.
“With bank branches closing and fee-charging machines becoming the norm it is no surprise Londoners are spending £18million on cash withdrawals.
“It is expensive to be poor – fee-charging machines should be a convenience not a daily requirement. Lack of access disproportionately affects low-income groups, the disabled, and the elderly.
“The Mayor needs to ensure new developments have access to free cash, and encourage public buildings to include free cash machines.”
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