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Banking authorities quizzed over cash machine charges

02 February 2005
Top banking executives were questioned yesterday about the spread of fee-charging cash machines.

Members of the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee asked questions to the bosses of HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland to gauge their views on the trend.

While virtually every cash machine in the UK was free five years ago, over one in three machines now charges a fee.

Consumer groups are especially worried that those that do charge do not adequately advertise the fact.

It is also feared that the growth of charging ATMs could threaten the existing agreement between major banks that allows users to withdraw money for free from each others machines.

Nationwide Building Society found that 40 per cent of Britain's cash machine network now charges, and if these machines keep increasing in number at their current rate there will be more fee charging than free cash machines by the end of the year.

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