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Royal Bank of Scotland to restrict customers’ ATM access

As debit and credit card fees increase in America, the Royal Bank of Scotland recently announced that it will no longer allow its basic account holder customers to use rival ATMs.

The taxpayer-owned bank incurs a fee every time a customer uses their RBS card on another bank’s ATM, ATMMarketplace.com reports. The new plan to restrict access for the one million people who have a basic RBS account includes those who otherwise might not be eligible to have a bank account.

“Although there are still nearly a million people without bank accounts, the banking sector has been working hard to steadily reduce this figure,” Marie Burton, a financial inclusion expert at Consumer Focus, said, ATMMarketplace.com reports. “Short-sighted moves like this will only help to reverse the good work that has been done. People living in rural areas deserted by bank branch closures may not have the option of other ATMs nearby.”

Once access to other banks is restricted, RBS basic account holders will only be able to use ATMs from RBS, NatWest, Tesco, Morrisons ATM or at post office branches.

RBS has nearly 8,000 ATM locations through out the United Kingdom. It said that there are 20,000 ATMs in the country that its basic account holders will still be able to access.

“It is unsustainable for us to offer free access to other bank ATMs for basic accounts as we face a charge per bank transaction, which needs to be recovered elsewhere," RBS wrote in a statement, ATMMarketplace.com reports.

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