Deprived areas to get no-fee cash dispensers
Regeneration & Renewal – 04 August 2006
Two high street banks are to install free-to-use cash dispensers in some of the UK’s most deprived neighbourhoods.
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) announced last week that it is to install 300 new machines in the UK’s poorest communities. Halifax and Bank of Scotland (HBoS) also said that it will install 100 free dispensers in poor and rural areas in Scotland and northern England in locations currently served only by fee-charging cash machines.
RBS is seeking advice from MPs, credit unions and community leaders to ensure that the most appropriate locations benefit from the initiative.
HBoS general manager Shane O’Riordan said: ‘We will work with RBS to install free ATMs in the maximum number of relevant communities. We hope other banks will do the same.’
The news comes after the publication of a report last month by charity Citizens Advice that identified almost 100 ‘cash deserts’ where there are no free dispensers at all.
A Citizens Advice spokesman welcomed the news. ‘We hope that this signals the start of a long-term commitment to providing free cash machines in communities that have none,’ he said.
But Derek French, director of the Campaign for Community Banking Services, called the move a ‘PR gimmick’.