One in five UK ATMs now charge for cash withdrawals

One in five ATMs now charge customers to withdraw cash, consumer watchdog Which? says and has called for an urgent review.

The news comes as thousands of machines are being shutdown.

According to Which? it has "significant concerns" and had written to the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), and called for it to conduct an urgent market review on the potential impact on consumers.

The UK's biggest ATM network Link is seeking to cut its £1 billion in annual running costs, which could see thousands of free-to-use cashpoints eliminated.

According to projections of the industry lobby group, the ATM Industry Association, one in five cash points will disappear from the UK's high streets within four years due to Links' proposed cuts.

Which? said the concerns about the future of free-to-use ATM access come amid bank branch closures, that had seen over 700 shut this year.

The call by Which? comes after a consultation launched by Link recently into the fees paid by card issuers such as banks and building societies to ATM operators.

The free-to-use ATM network is funded by the interchange fee funds and Link has decided that these fees should be cut by 20 per cent over the next four years.

Meanwhile, Which? in a letter, has asked the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), to step in and conduct an urgent market review.

Which? has called on PSR to fully evaluate the potential impact of the move on consumers - millions of whom rely on the free-to-use network of ATMs to access cash - it said.

The PSR has said it is closely monitoring the situation and will take regulatory action as necessary if it considers that any decision made by the UK's ATM network Link is not in the interests of consumers.

According to Which? the concerns about the future of free-to-use ATM access come as bank branch closures hit consumers' ability to have easy access to their money free of charge.