I agree. That is why I want to talk about how important it is to do impact assessments before we lose the ATMs, so that those issues are closely considered.
The Association of Convenience Stores has criticised LINK’S FIP, saying that, “it is not clear whether LINK has the resources to implement these commitments across the network.” For example, LINK previously identified 2,651 deprived areas in the UK that are eligible for free-to-use ATM subsidy, but 10 years after the introduction of the FIP, 824 of those did not have free access to cash within a 1 km radius.
We need to watch what commitments LINK makes to ensure that ATM networks in rural areas are properly protected as rates are reduced further in the years ahead. The question is whether the LINK process of identifying vulnerable ATMs is working or whether we need to have further impact assessments. As Ruth George said, we need to ensure that this is not a “wait and see” game. We must work ahead of time to ensure that people are not negatively affected when they lose their ATMs. That is a huge issue across my Angus constituency, and for hon. Members across the Chamber.