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Martin Docherty-Hughes MP has demanded action by the UK government in response to concerns about the threat to the availability of free to use cash machines.

The SNP MP has written to the UK Treasury Secretary on behalf of local businesses warning that a fall in the number of ATMs in West Dunbartonshire would have a devastating impact on hard-pressed retailers and disadvantaged residents.

The move follows proposals to change the way that ATM cash withdrawals are financed, with operators warning that it will result in a dramatic cut in the number of free-to-use cash machines.

The MP for West Dunbartonshire said that the availability of accessible ATMs is increasingly important due to the callousness of high street banks which continue to close local branches at an alarming rate.

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“The availability of free-to-use cash machines in West Dunbartonshire is critically important for both businesses and local residents.

“As the high street banks continue with their callous closure of local branches, people are increasingly reliant on the network of cash machines for their banking needs.

“Charging fees to use ATMs disproportionately impacts vulnerable residents who have no other option to access their cash. Whilst we may be moving towards a cashless society with contactless technologies, cash payments continue to be important to help people budget their spending.

“Local retailers tell me they are deeply concerned about the impact of these proposals. Many businesses in West Dunbartonshire rely on people being able to spend cash obtained from local ATMs and face the threat of closure without this income.

“It appears big banks are once again prioritising their own profits over the needs of our local communities. The UK government must take action to ensure that people continue to have access to free-to-use cash machines.”

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