Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Need a cash machine? Go to a poor area

Apparently, a report is to be published today that will put forward details of an agreement between the Government, banks and cash machine operators to ensure that ATMs that are located in "low income areas" will not charge people to withdraw money.

Thankfully I live in the poorest postal district in London, so this is great news for me. I do wonder about the increase in cars parked on the side of road as all those people deemed "rich" stop draw money out.

Even though I will probably beneift from this plan, I have to admit I think it's rather silly. For example, pensioners who bought their homes in what was once a poor area and is now a rich area will find themselves punished. People on low income who decide to treat themselves to a day out may find themselves charged for cash withdrawal simply because of where they went out for the day.

The claim is that it is about finanical inclusion, but the reality is that the so-called "rich" people will just find the ATMs that don't charge them and the banks and cash machine operators will find themselves having to claw back the operating costs through other means.

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