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.


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