MPs ask banks to let basic account customers to use rival ATMs

31 August 2012

reg varney cash machineIf you have a basic bank account, you'll know that you can't use all cash machines because some banks are arseholes. Well, MPs are urging these banks (RBS and Lloyds specifically) to stop this nonsense and allow people to draw money out wherever they like.

In a report, the Treasury committee has criticised banks for limiting access and ostensibly charging people with basic accounts to use a rival ATM. People with basic accounts are usually broke enough without them getting charged to draw out their scant pennies.

The report said the cost savings were small and "have potentially disproportionate effects," adding that "their [RBS and Lloyds] actions also sit uncomfortably with their stated commitment to basic bank accounts."

"The main purpose behind the development of the basic bank account initiative was to improve financial inclusion. It is particularly regrettable that this 'beggar my neighbour' approach may therefore lead to the closure or, in the case of cash machines not operated by banks, change to charging at existing free to use cash machines," the committee said.

The chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Andrew Tyrie, said: "The Committee understands the need for banks to control costs, particularly in these difficult times. In this instance, the financial benefits to Lloyds and RBS appear relatively small but those affected would be amongst the most vulnerable people in society. In the longer run, both the way services are offered to customers and the charges they pay need reform to secure greater banking competition."

In a letter to the Treasury Committee, Brian Hartzer, chief executive of UK retail banking at RBS, said: "We currently pay a charge on every transaction, every time someone checks their balance or makes a withdrawal at an ATM run by another company. As a consequence, we are running our basic accounts at a loss to the bank which we need to reduce."

A spokeswoman for Lloyds TSB said: "Our basic bank account customers also have access to all Halifax and Bank of Scotland, one of the largest network of ATMs in the country, as well as post offices across the UK. They also have access to our Money Manager internet banking service."

TOPICS:   Investments   Banking

12 comments

  • Alexis
    "We currently pay a charge on every transaction, every time someone checks their balance or makes a withdrawal at an ATM run by another company. As a consequence, we are running our basic accounts at a loss to the bank which we need to reduce.” Maybe this bank should charge other banks whose customers want to use their AGMs, thus cancelling out any loss? Either that, or Brian is talking out of his arse. I'd bet the latter.
  • Chewbacca
    Why don't people just stop being so fucking poor? Fuck them, if they're so stupid and lazy that they can't hold down a decent job, let them walk to the nearest cash machine. Why should I have to subsidise lazy people? I already do through my taxes. I bet the vast majority of basic bank account holders are dole scum, single parents, immigrants, or a combination of all three. Id be getting them out to clean the streets, then they wouldn't have time to moan about how hard their life is. Scum.
  • Happy h.
    Chewbacca you clearly are a ignorant and small minded scumbag yourself having had a basic bank account myself until the last 5 months I know how inconvenient it can be with the restrictions on these accounts. I have worked all my life never scrounged any benefits but did fall into some hard times and am now trying to rebuild my credit rating and the basic account was perfect for helping me.
  • samuri
    it took 3 weeks for the banks to stop laughing,............then they said NO!
  • zeddy
    I must say that Reg Varney is looking good for being dead.
  • Nick T.
    Funnier, too.
  • Chewbacca
    @happy hammer Raw nerve much? What was it? Gambling? Drink? Drugs? All three? Or perhaps these "hard times" you speak of were the result of your insolvency, asbasirect result of your incapability to budget correctly. Cash accounts are for losers, thanks happy hammer for so ably demonstrating that.
  • zeddy
    Here Nick, didn't I hear you used to take his tv sister Anna up the arsenal?
  • Nick T.
    @ zeddy You're thinking of Princess Ann and Paul Burrell. Or, as Prince Charles used to call him, "I hate you, butler".
  • Happy h.
    Chewbacca quite happy to admit that brought some of it on myself but also more than happy to take responsibility for my actions and to resolve them without the need to judge everyone else in a small minded way. I am far from a loser it strikes me that the true losers are the small minded and ignorant prejudiced people out there like you
  • Mr M.
    @Chewbacca If only it took being clever and hardworking to hold down a job. The reality is very different. Unfortunately banks have no social conscience so don't think that perhaps those that are forced to use basic accounts are the same people who really struggle for money, be they immigrants, single parents, dole scum, or people being taken advantage of by the economic climate. Oh, and you sound a right cunt showing off how "un-poor" you are, if you need to boast about it you probably haven't got it.
  • Chewbacca
    Un-poor, eh? Lulz

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