As outlined in its interchange announcement at the end of January 2018, LINK has committed to maintain the broad geographical coverage of the ATM Network in the UK and to publish data on progress against this.  This report shows the cumulative position, as at July 2019.

Between January 2018 and July 2019, the number of free-to-use ATMs reduced from 54,500 to 47,900. This represents an overall 12% reduction in the size of the free Network (6,600 ATMs).  The overall broad geographic coverage of the ATM Network has been maintained in line with LINK’s objectives, as set out in this report.

The continuing adoption of new payment methods is reducing the demand for cash and therefore ATM withdrawals.  The ATM deployment market is responding by reducing the number of free ATMs independently of the interchange reduction.  LINK’s commitment is to ensure that coverage of the Network is not reduced as a result of the changes made to interchange.  We are also working to maintain coverage as a result of the decline in consumer demand, although ATM management and deployment is a matter that goes beyond LINK’s control alone.  Protecting the level of interchange, and in some cases increasing the interchange payable, on machines in more remote and rural locations will help to ensure that these ATMs do not close.  A reduction in interchange rates in busier urban centres has also been made as there is an over-provision of machines in some of these areas.

LINK has put in place specific arrangements to protect free-to-use ATMs more than 1 kilometre away from their next nearest free-to-use ATM.  LINK is targeting all of these free machines in more remote and rural areas to remain open to preserve coverage, unless there is another source of cash access available or no consumer impact from closure.  In 194 of these locations, the free-to-use ATM is closed or has switched to surcharge (188 reported last month).  Of these 194 locations, 147 have alternative free access to cash from the Post Office, relate to ATMs that were not in any case already accessible to the general public, or have security issues that make the site unsafe (click here to view).  The remaining 47 (44 reported last month) need replacing with another free ATM, and subsidies to open a new ATM will be provided by LINK. This report gives full details (Appendix 1).

A full list of Protected ATM locations is also available here.

In addition, LINK runs a Financial Inclusion Programme to protect access to cash in more deprived communities.  The LINK Financial Inclusion Programme has been improving access to cash for the most deprived communities since 2006.  It provides subsidies to ATM operators that run free-to-use machines in the most deprived communities in the UK.  In 2006, 1,694 deprived areas were identified with no free access to cash, where the subsidy could apply.  In 2015, 957 further sites were brought into the Programme following independent research by Toynbee Hall.  A further 112 Scottish Output Areas were brought into the Programme in September making a total of 2,763 in scope today.  Of these 2,763 sites, 1,831 have a free ATM and 932 are without a free ATM.  The remaining 8,743 deprived sites across the UK already have a free ATM without the need for a subsidy.  The Financial Inclusion Dashboard provides full details.

You can download a breakdown of LINK ATMs by Parliamentary Constituency here.

Copies of previous monthly reports can be downloaded below:

July 2018 Footprint Report Dashboard
August 2018 Footprint Report Dashboard
September 2018 Footprint Report Dashboard
October 2018 Footprint Report Dashboard
November 2018 Footprint Report Dashboard
December 2018 Footprint Report Dashboard
January 2019 Footprint Report Dashboard
February 2019 Footprint Report Dashboard
March 2019 Footprint Report Dashboard
April 2019 Footprint Report Dashboard
May 2019 Footprint Report Dashboard
June Footprint Report Dashboard


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