Barbara has hailed a ground-breaking deal which will provide 600 new non-charging cash machines throughout the country, and place clear signs on every cash machine to show whether or not they charge a fee for cash withdrawals.
The new agreement is aimed at helping people on lower incomes to start up bank accounts and ensure that they can access those accounts as easily and cheaply as possible. Treasury Minister Ed Balls and the Chair of Parliament’s Treasury select committee John McFall struck the agreement with the leading banks and cash machine operators.
Under the new agreement, cash machines which charge customers for making a withdrawal, like many of those currently in shops and garages, will need to carry clear signs. At the same time, banks, building societies and cash machine operators will work with local communities to find sites for the 600 new fee-free machines.
An official report produced by HM Treasury shows three areas within Worsley constituency which have relatively high levels of economic deprivation, but have nowhere for residents to withdraw their money without paying a fee.
Following the announcement, Barbara met with Ed Balls and John McFall to discuss how the new scheme will work, and how Worsley constituents might benefit.
After the meeting, Barbara said:
"Outside of the town centres in Worsley constituency, there are often few places to withdraw money free of charge, particularly when Post Offices are closed. Frequently, it is those people on the lowest incomes who are least able to travel to use a free cash machine, most likely to use one of the fee-charging machines, and therfore those most out of pocket. This agreement with the cash machine operators is good news, and I will be working hard to try and get one or more of the new fee-free machines sited in Worsley."
John McFall MP, Barbara and Ed Balls MP meet to discuss the new deal on cash machines.