/ Money

Banks – can you explain why you’re punishing basic bankers?

RBS machine

Not long ago I wrote about how RBS and Lloyds are punishing basic account holders by restricting access to free cash machines. Now they’re being called upon to explain why, but will their excuses be good enough?

RBS is about to cut off access for its 1.1 million basic bank account holders to non-RBS/Natwest cash machines.

Lloyds TSB already restricts its 500,000 basic bank account holders from using machines which aren’t its own. It doesn’t even let them use Halifax machines, even though it’s part of Lloyds banking group.

Everyday lives affected

Your comments echoed our own thoughts – this is hitting those who can afford it least, the hardest. Liz explained how her local area will suffer:

‘The restriction on cash machines is made worse by the fact that the more deprived the area, the less likely it is to have multiple cash machines to choose from or the more likely it is to have ones which charge for use.’

And Maureen’s family will be directly affected:

‘My daughter has a basic Natwest A/C, but doesn’t live near any Natwest/RBS cash machines. So she will have to use petrol she can ill afford to drive to one of their machines.’

It seems that Andrew Tyrie MP, Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee agrees – he has written to RBS and Lloyds TSB asking them to explain the restrictions, saying:

‘This change threatens to increase financial exclusion as it leaves basic bank account holders at the two banks unable to access the majority of cash machines in the UK. This could signal the end of universal access to cash machines for all customers – which would stifle competition and be bad for consumers.’

It’s good news that the Committee is taking an interest in this subject and hopefully this will lead to a formal inquiry. It would be disastrous if some people are put off using their account because of these changes, increasing their daily expenditure at a time when other costs are rocketing.

No other option than to upgrade?

Changes like this could undermine the viability of the free cash machine network – which would affect all of us. Even worse, it seems as though RBS is making it easy for basic bank account holders to upgrade to an £8 a month account, while not offering the ability to easily upgrade online to a normal current account.

Was this always a ploy to try and sell more packaged accounts by stealth? Consumers changing to a different account with RBS are also placing themselves at risk of paying RBS’s high unauthorised overdraft charges – which can accumulate quickly at £6 per day.

RBS and Lloyds need to change their policy and offer full access for their basic bank account holders. How are these changes affecting you? We’ll be sending your responses to the Treasury Committee, so let us know below.

AmJam66 says:
21 October 2011

sorry for the typos- Im tired


When The Royal Bank of Scotland acted as they did, it was the final straw for many. But the ever-seeming attack on what we need as a Basic Bank Account is all to real. We can no longer rely on false promises given to successive Governments that they would/will continue. In fairness some banks continue to carry them as part of their stable, but the question is, for how long?

Once one bank wins the argument amidst the self-generated confusion of Ring Fencing by claiming we’re all to blame for their gambling with ‘your money’, you will find others falling into line. Despite current protestations to the otherwise.

To this end No More Excuses was founded. There must be provision for FREE Basic Bank Accounts throughout the UK combined with FREE access to ATM’s. These must exist for those in our society who can’t have a fee paying account, and more to the point, those who can’t afford to have one. Add to this the closure of branches and those of the Post Office, and the withdrawal of cheque guarantee cards. The need becomes apparent. The answer is to make Parliament bring in legislation. Promises previously given, no longer cut it.

Therefore, and to begin with, an e-petition has been set up http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/15120

To run alongside of the e-petition you can follow No More Excuses via The Campaign Page http://thenomoreexcuses.blogspot.com

In addition to this there is an active Twitter site @NoMoreExcuses_ http://twitter.com/NoMoreExcuses_

We already have an impressive list of followers which includes Which Money and Which Conversation. It’s Your Money.


Thanks to Dr Martyn Saville for urging us to post our comment.


“STATUTE BARRED DEBT COLLECTION” has now been published. You can view your e-petition at: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/41065

anon says:
25 April 2013

i use a clasic account which is my parents and as my dad past away i use his debit card until it runs out
and my mom needs to tell the bank about him
so i went to the lloyyds bank to open an classic account with my main income of job seekers
and was told i could not have a classic account but have a cash account and got my debit card
and tried it at the cashpoint atmy local shop and the machine said that i can’t use it here
and upon looking at the back of the card it can only be used at lloydds cash machines

im thinking of starting my own bank up to pi%&% the banks off so people can have a clasic account working or on any benefits