7th October 2016
Over the past ten years, LINK, through its Financial Inclusion Programme, has assisted with the introduction of free-to-use ATMs in nearly 2,000 areas across the UK that have been identified as in need.
LINK’s ‘Financial Inclusion Programme’, which is currently celebrating its tenth year in existence, has been a crucial factor in meeting the needs of the most vulnerable consumers in society. Free access to cash is particularly important for consumers in lower socio-economic groups as it allows them to budget more effectively.
Early in 2015 LINK commissioned independent research by Toynbee Hall to determine whether consumers on low incomes still face difficulty accessing free-to-use cash machines.
The research identified 957 new, small, deprived communities that didn’t have access to a free-to-use ATM. LINK members, who contribute up to £1 million a year to subsidise the provision of cash machines in these areas, have since been working with consumer groups, local government and MPs to address this issue – which has resulted in more than 324 areas already being provided for, with more planned for 2017.
Tracey Graham, Chair of LINK’s Consumer Council, commented:
“Over the past ten years, access to free-to-use ATMs has been a priority for the industry. Since its launch in 2006, the Financial Inclusion Programme has been a resounding success story, improving access to cash for many consumers in the UK. Following the latest research LINK commissioned, we are aware there is still more work to be done and access to cash will continue to remain a priority.”
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