6 in 10 ATMs could vanish
By Toby Walne
SIX in ten free cash machines will have been ripped out by the end of the decade as Britons go cashless, according to ATM network group Link.
Some 23,000 machines are expected to go, bringing the number down from 3 ,000 to 15,000, said Link chief executive John Howells. Five years ago, there were 50,000 free ATMs.
It follows a rapid retreat of banks from UK high streets, with 1,250 branches shut or put on notice of closure since the start of last year, according to Link. Last week alone, Lloyds Banking Group announced a further 45 branches are to be axed by August next year.
Mr Howells said Link ‘will continue to protect free access’ to ATMs, ‘including in rural areas’.
The not-for-profit body Cash Access UK said up to 6million people rely on cash and that ATMs are a ‘vital lifeline’. It said more must be done to stop banks ‘forcing us towards becoming a cashless society’.
dmg media (UK)