Thursday, 13 August 2009

ATMs cashing in on the vulnerable

ATMs that charge people to withdraw their money are cashing in on some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, says Plaid AM Dai Lloyd. Dr Dai Lloyd who is Plaid Cymru’s social justice spokesperson has said that it is high time that charges on ATMs were regulated at a government level. The Plaid AM for South Wales West has been alarmed by recent rapid price increases on charging ATMs which he says are particularly disgraceful under the current economic conditions.

The Plaid AM for South Wales West is calling on the London Labour government to regulate ATM proliferation and charges in order to ensure a fair deal for Welsh communities, particularly for those on low incomes who are hit hardest by these charges. He has also committed to investigate what can be done at an Assembly and local level to protect Welsh communities from unfair charges.

Dai LloydPlaid AM Dai Lloyd said:

“The amounts that are being charged to use these ATMs are ridiculous. We have seen rapid increases in prices recently. Some are now charging as much as £2.50 for every withdrawal - for anybody withdrawing £10 that’s an extra 25%! A cost which many users can ill afford. To make matters worse it would appear that more deprived wards with no free cash withdrawal options are being targeted by these companies. This is disgraceful and unscrupulous behaviour by these ATM companies.

“Very often people living in these communities do not have the luxury of being able to travel to withdraw cash. Their options have been further limited by the London Labour Post Office closure programme. Even in those communities that are lucky enough to still have a post office, the days of withdrawing benefits and pensions directly and over the counter are long gone.

“It is high time that action is taken to protect our communities. It is wrong that unscrupulous companies should profit most from those who can afford it least. I am calling on the London Labour government to take immediate action to regulate the proliferation and charges of these ATMs. I will also be looking at what we can do on a Welsh level to protect our communities from unfair charges.”

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