At least 1 million consumers in the United Kingdom have access to 419 ATMs
that charge no transaction fees under a program designed to bring
less-expensive financial services to low-income areas, British treasury officials
say. Installation of the machines began about 18 months ago, according to a
statement from Her Majesty's Treasury, the country's treasury department.
British ATM operator LINK has coordinated the effort. Financial authorities plan
to install 143 more fee-free machines by the end of year, the statement says,
providing free ATM services for 1.3 million consumers.
"This is real progress in our campaign for access to free cash machines in
neighborhoods up and down the country and a step forward for financial
inclusion," Kitty Ussher, a Member of Parliament and chairman of the Treasury
Select Committee, said in a statement.
At least one private ATM firm used the treasury announcement to highlight its
own efforts. Bank Machine Ltd., a United Kingdom-based ATM independent sales
organization, said Friday it has installed at least 650 noncharging ATMs in
low income areas.