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Hundreds of free ATMs at Post Office sites to close

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Around a third of free-to-use ATMs located at Post Office branches will be closed by March 2022, it has confirmed.

The Post Office currently has around 2,000 free-to-use ATMs at its branches, but it doesn’t own or operate these machines. Instead, this is undertaken by the Bank of Ireland.

As part of a £16m investment plan, the Post Office said it will own and operate around 1,400 free-to-use ATMs across the UK as it becomes part of the LINK network.

As a result, this means around a third of the machines – 600 – will be closed by March 2022.

However, the Post Office said it will retain almost 60 “commercially unviable” ATMs where the nearest alternative free-to-use machine is a “significant distance away”.

The first ATM will be moved to Post Office ownership towards the end of 2021, with all ATMs replaced with new devices that have “the latest cash dispending technology and security measures”. This programme should be completed by mid-2023.

The move comes after the government just this month announced proposals for people to get cashback without a purchase to protect the future of, and access to cash after its use has declined at a time of ATMs disappearing at pace from the high street.

Martin Kearsley, banking director at the Post Office, said: “This is one of the largest investment programmes in the free-to-use ATM market for over a decade. Millions of people rely on cash every day and we are ensuring anyone who wants cash can get it in whichever way is most convenient for them.”

For those Postmasters at locations which will no longer have an ATM, Post Office will provide support including posters informing their customers that they can carry out their everyday banking needs over the counter. Postmasters are also able to apply to LINK’s ‘Request an ATM’ scheme for an ATM to be installed at their branch.

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