Rural areas worst hit by bank move

RURAL communities will be the worst hit by moves by banks to ban basic account customers from using any ATM machine other than their own, said Carrick MSP Adam Ingram this week.

Mr Ingram has condemned moves by RBS/Nat West and Lloyds banks to ban basic account customers from using any machine other than their own.

He said: “The policy of restricting basic customers from other banks use of ATMs will cause serious issues for basic bank account customers of all banks.

“The blow will be particularly felt by those on low incomes and people in rural communities.

“A large number of people across Scotland will find accessing cash they need a serious problem as in some cases they will have to travel several miles to a cash machine.

“This will affect the most vulnerable in our society and indeed undermines the banks own customers. At a time when banks like RBS should be trying to rebuild public confidence and their relationships with customers this action is alienating those who rely on their services.

“It is a thoughtless decision by the banks and if RBS and Lloyds will not reconsider their decisions then I will be looking to the UK Government to step in.”

An announcement by RBS in August detailed how thousands of basic account customers, who are often on low incomes will be banned from using any cash machine not belonging to their own bank. Lloyds bank has also put in place the same restrictions.

A recent YouGov survey showed mass opposition across the UK to this policy by RBS/Nat West and Lloyds, with unpopularity nowhere stronger than in Scotland where 77% of people polled said they opposed the move.

Nationwide building society has stated while they do not support RBS moves to limit cash machine access – they may be forced to adopt a similar policy.