Research from consumer champion Which? that suggests withdrawal charges would be introduced at 1,700 cash machines in Q1 of this year has angered the Federation of Small Businesses.
FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry, said cashpoint charges were bad for business.He said: “Many small firms still have customers that want to pay in cash. Every pound lost to ATM charges is a pound not spent with small businesses. Charging shoppers to withdraw their own money is wrong, and dampens consumer appetite, causing a drag on local growth in the process.
“These charges often hit society’s most vulnerable: the elderly, those less able to travel and those sticking to tight budgets.
“While we’ve successfully persuaded LINK to row back on the speed and depth of cash machine funding cuts, a lot of damage has already been done.
“A regulator should now be given explicit responsibility for protecting free access to cash for as long as people want and need it. Otherwise, we risk hurtling towards a cashless society that millions are not ready for yet.”