While the closure of free ATMs is sadly nothing new, when the release of fresh figures coincided with the calling of a general election, we spotted an opportunity to call on whoever makes up the next government to protect this vital part of our money and banking system.
5,644 free-to-use cash machines (11% of the total!) have closed across the UK in just twelve months. Whilst the number of pay-to-use machines has shot up by over a thousand.
We analysed data that the ATM network Link releases each month to put together a clear picture of how the free-to-use network has fared between July 2018 and August 2019. Further number crunching helped us discover just how badly the public has been affected across the UK’s 650 different constituencies. You can find the exact figures for yours here.
It’s happening because of lobbying by private banks and card companies who want to make even bigger profits, but what’s even worse is that past governments have let them get away with it. So that’s why we’ve turned our attention to politicians.
77% of people say cash is essential to their daily lives. For the UK, to have a functioning and fair economy, we need a money system that’s free and open to everyone, not plagued with barriers and inequalities. Positive Money believes people should be able to access their own money for free, not have to pay for the privilege. And, as the only true form of public money, protecting cash and coins is key to preserving what little democracy we have left in our overwhelmingly privatised banking system.
If we ever hope to turn the tide on cash machine closures, we need a future parliament that’s filled with MPs willing to stand up for our right to freely access cash. That’s why we created an online tool that allows you to easily contact all the candidates running to be an MP in your constituency* all at once.
We also put together a husting top tips guide, so you can quiz your MP candidates in person about whether they support the right for you to access cash free of charge. As well as a video outlining our key arguments that you can share on Facebook, Twitter or directly from Youtube.
Over 1000 people have already taken action and sent emails so please, join the campaign and email your MP candidates to protect your right to freely access money today!
*some candidates may be missing if they haven’t shared a public email address yet, but addresses are updated every day.