According to LINK's annual Consumer Council report, published today, the number of free-to-use cash machines in the UK has reached a total of 45,033 - accounting for 68% of Britain's 65,884 ATMs.
This means that more people than ever before should be able to access the cash in their bank account without having to pay for it.
The report shows an increase in the number of freely accessible cash machines in the more deprived areas of the UK. Since 2006, when LINK Scheme members teamed up with the government and local communities to identify places without free access to cash, over 850 free-to-use ATMs have been installed in these areas.
As a result, 95% of the deprived areas identified now have one of these cash machines close by or within 1km of the area's centre, giving local residents free access to the money in their bank accounts.
Other developments highlighted in the report include:
- The introduction of LINK's charity donations scheme on 20 June 2012, allowing customers to make donations to charity using more than 12,345 ATMs, to over 45 different charities
- The increase in the number of ATMs dispensing £5 notes (5,435), with almost £200 million withdrawn in fivers from LINK cash machines every month.
Dr. Ken Andrew, Chairman of LINK's Consumer Council, commented: "The increase in the number of free-to-use ATMs underlines the effectiveness of the industry in providing free access to cash across the whole of the UK. These new cash machines have brought local free-of-charge access to cash to around 2 million people previously without a free-to-use cash machine in their area."