ATM Closures — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 4th December 2018.

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Photo of Ged Killen Ged Killen Labour/Co-operative, Rutherglen and Hamilton West 9:30 am, 4th December 2018

I thank the hon. Gentleman for making that point. He came along to an event I held in conjunction with Which? where that information was available to Members from across the House. Many Members were surprised to learn just how far apart ATMs are in their constituencies, and how vulnerable each of those areas would be if something happened to one of those machines.

The 1 km rule just is not working. Even if it were, things can go wrong quickly when one of the last remaining machines develops a fault or runs out of cash. I stopped off in Ballantrae in South Ayrshire over the summer recess, which seems a long time ago now. When I went to use the ATM, I discovered it was out of service. There is a post office counter in the local shop—we would need an entirely separate debate to talk about the pressure post offices are under to try to meet the gap in services created by the banks—but when I went into the shop to inquire, I discovered that the next-nearest ATM is more than 20 km away, or almost 13 miles in old money.

The other issue is that it is difficult to take account of local circumstances in applying the 1 km rule. In Cambuslang in my constituency, both free-to-use ATMs at either end of the main street are—excluding the other—within 1 km of another ATM, but those alternative ATMs would be not just inconvenient but very difficult to get to for anyone who experiences mobility issues. The closure of either ATM on the main street would have a massive impact on the small businesses in that area, which are already really feeling the pressure.