Nationwide hails victory for consumers over cash machine charges

Nationwide has welcomed the government&#39s decision to give consumers advance warning of cash machine charges.

The building society, which has been campaigning against hidden cash machine charges, celebrated the news that members of LINK, the organisation that runs the UK&#39s cash machine network, has finally agreed to recommend giving customers early warning of charges.

Though details have yet to be finalised, the industry plans to have early warnings in place by April 2004. The warnings will either be in the form of stickers or early on-screen messages before the transaction begins.

Nationwide executive director Stuart Bernau says: “This is a victory for the consumer and for common sense. Consumers currently face a monthly cost of £6m in fees for withdrawing their own money from Britain&#39s 11,000 convenience cash machines.

“Our research shows that 95% of people want advance warning if they will be charged to withdraw their own money from cash machines. I&#39m delighted though that banks and building societies have at last seen sense and increasing numbers have come round to our way of thinking over the past few weeks.”

11,000 ATMs in the UK charge a fee – some 25% of the LINK network – and 3.83 million transactions each month through machines incur a charge, typically between £1.25 and £1.50.