Monday, 12 May 2008

ATM locations

A while back I blogged about the painful experience of drawing money out from ATMs that charge you per transaction. I thought I would hunt around a bit more and as a result I found the report (PDF) of the ATM Working Group, chaired my John McFall, which was published at the end of 2006. This was proiduced because of concerns about the spread of charging machines, and the effect this might have in low-income areas.

Vrey broadly the report for no great conspiracy, and accepted that charging machines were a legitimate business model (although look at the tiny number of transactions given how many such machines there are). It did recommend putting more free machines in certain areas though. Below are a couple of quick excerpts, I'll try and do more on this another time.

Some interesting general stats from the report:

There were 33,250 free cash machines in the UK at end-June 2006, compared to 25,500 charging machines.
There was no firm evidence that the aggregate number of free cash machines was likely to decrease.
The average number of transactions per charging machine has fallen from more than 17 per day in 2002 to around 13 per day in June 2006.
Around 4% of cash withdrawal transactions were at charging machines in the first six months of 2006.

And some commentary about the distribution of cash machines:

"Most low-income areas were relatively well-served by free cash machines, tending to have more free cash machines than more prosperous areas. One explanation for this could be the relative proximity of many relatively deprived areas to town centres. But 1,701 areas within the most deprived quartile (around 16%) had neither a free cash machine within the area, nor a free cash machine within 1 kilometre of the centre of the area. About 4% of the UK population live in such areas."

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