Friday, November 01, 2019
Less than a month since launching its Community Access to Cash Delivery Fund, Link has received more than 100 applications for new ATMs.
The requests have come from every corner of the UK including rural communities, deprived urban areas and small towns.
To meet this demand, Link has launched a new tool where people can apply directly for a new ATM in a particular location. Applications will be judged on the distance to the nearest free ATM, the availability of a Post Office, site security and whether there is a suitable host location. If an application meets the criteria, Link will fund the new ATM directly.
John Howells, Link CEO, said: “It’s great that we’ve had so much interest so far. Many of the applications show there are locations around the country where there is a cash access problem. We’ve already visited 10 of these locations and will be working hard to listen to every community that has got in touch.
“We want to hear from more communities that think they have an issue. Where there is a problem, Link will take action.”
Link will install 11 new ATMs in Deal, Ebbw Vale, Margate, Middleton, Wilmslow, York, Battle, Bungay, Nuneaton, Tywyn in Wales, and Durness in Scotland, as part of a pilot scheme. These ATMs will be funded with the support of Link’s bank and building society members.
In the past couple of weeks, three new ATMs, directly commissioned by Link have been installed in: Ardington, Oxfordshire; Elham, Kent; and Bracknell, Berkshire, after these locations lost their free-to-use ATM.
Jenny Ross, Which? money editor, said: “This is a positive step that may help to plug the gaps created by the alarming rate of bank branch and cashpoint closures across the UK – so Link must deal with requests swiftly and aim to provide free machines for all those left cut off from cash. But it’s clear this scheme alone won’t fix the country’s broken cash landscape.
“Appalling mismanagement by the industry and regulators has left the cash system on the brink of collapse and communities are being presented with a confusing array of schemes claiming to fix the problem. That’s why the government must intervene to protect cash for as long as it is needed.”
In August, Link announced its commitment to protecting free access to cash for every high street in the UK.