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Low-income areas benefit from free ATMs

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18/07/2008

Over one million people are benefiting from 419 new non-charging cash machines installed in low-income areas throughout the UK in the last 18 months, according to the Treasury.

This substantial progress is the result of a joint initiative between the Treasury and the ATM working group, chaired by John McFall.

The Treasury revealed that 419 new free access cash machines are now operating in low income areas and a further 143 locations have been identified and are planned for the end of 2008.

These 562 free cash machines will benefit around 1.3m residents who as a result will not have to pay charges or to travel outside their community to withdraw cash and work continues to ensure there is a free access cash machine in every identified target area.

McFall said: “In today’s society, financial exclusion can lead to social exclusion, as it makes worse the problems that people in low-income areas face. It is vital that every family can access the basic financial services, such as bank accounts and cash machines, which many of us take for granted. This free-to-access ATMs initiative has allowed 1.3 million people in low-income areas to benefit, an outstanding achievement.

“A number of the new cash machines have proven so popular that they now no longer require funding from the scheme-proof that these machines were much needed, and are making a real difference to the communities in which they are located.

“The efforts put in by all those involved in the initiative-in particular, LINK and the cash machine operators-have been commendable. The Treasury Select Committee has worked hard to keep financial inclusion on the agenda for many years now, and I am delighted that, with the help of the Government and the financial services industry, this hard work is paying off.”

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