Concerns raised about ATM fees

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A local councillor has raised concerns about the introduction of charges for withdrawing money from cash machines at a local shopping centre.

Shoppers at Lisnagelvin Shopping Centre were surprised to discover they were charged 95p for withdrawing cash from two ATM machines located there. In the past transactions had always been free-of-charge and there were numerous complaints about the charge, which was introduced by the company which operates the machines.

SDLP councillor Martin Reilly said: “This new 95p fee per transaction for those withdrawing cash at Lisnagelvin Shopping Centre came as a complete surprise for Waterside shoppers and they have been in touch with me to register their frustration.”

He added he was “concerned at the way this has been introduced as there are no visible signs indicating that these previously free machines are now charging to dispense cash other than the screen display. People really hate this hidden stealth fee to access their own money”.

A spokesperson from Cardtronics, which operates over a dozen ATMS in the city, said: “On January 1, LINK, the UK ATM Scheme, introduced the second in a series of cuts to the fee that banks pay ATM operators for cash withdrawals made by their customers. Independent ATM operators such as ourselves often fill the gap left as a result of the banks closing branches and removing their own ATMs, but these cuts have made some of our ATMs unsustainable as a free service. The decision on whether to introduce a fee is taken on a case-by-case basis and reflects the economic viability of the individual machine. Introducing a charge is not one we have taken lightly, but LINK’s cuts have left us with no choice on some of our machines.”