Hundreds of money factors have disappeared in the course of the pandemic with many not being changed, new information reveals.
Round 8,000 ATMs have been switched off prior to now 18 months, in line with analysis by shopper group, Which? – equating to a fall of round 13%.
The overwhelming majority of money machines have been put out of motion whereas the UK was beneath nationwide lockdown between March and Could final 12 months.
Analysis has additionally discovered a complete of 801 financial institution branches closed between the beginning of the lockdown in March 2020 till restrictions have been lifted in July this 12 months.
One other 103 branches are attributable to shut their doorways by the tip of this 12 months.
The evaluation from Which? – based mostly on money machine information from Hyperlink – discovered there are massive discrepancies within the variety of ATMs charging for withdrawals in Britain, various in line with totally different areas.
Within the West Midlands, 28% of machines cost customers, in contrast with 19% within the South East.
The analysis comes as a brand new survey revealed 57% of individuals have skilled not less than one challenge utilizing money factors or discovering a financial institution on the excessive road.
Round 1 / 4 had an issue utilizing a money level prior to now 12 months – together with 17% who mentioned the ATM had run out of money or was not working.
An extra one in eight mentioned a money level they used had been eliminated or launched costs.
Some 43% of these surveyed mentioned they’d been affected by financial institution department points together with closures and diminished opening instances.
A lot of excessive road banks have introduced closures prior to now 12 months – as bosses level to an increase in on-line transactions.
However shopper teams are involved older individuals and people with out web entry might be left struggling.
Which? has urged the Authorities to do extra to guard customers.
It has questioned when new guidelines proposed by the Monetary Conduct Authority (FCA), to make sure money withdrawals will be made regionally, shall be made regulation.
Gareth Shaw, Which? head of cash, mentioned: “These stark figures present the extent of the harm attributable to the pandemic to the already fragile money system, and reveal the results that that is having on customers who’re making an attempt to withdraw money.
“Whereas many individuals can now financial institution digitally, tens of millions of persons are not but prepared or in a position to take action. It’s customers who need to withdraw and spend money in close by outlets or the excessive road who shall be hardest hit if they’re left with no solution to entry it regionally.
“This could function a wake-up name to the Authorities and the FCA. The money system is continuous to crumble and laws on safeguarding entry to money should be launched swiftly.”
A Treasury spokesperson mentioned: “We have dedicated to legislate to guard entry to money throughout the UK and we’re at the moment consulting on proposals for brand spanking new legal guidelines to verify individuals solely must journey an affordable distance to pay in or take out money.”