The Yorkshire postcode with NO cashpoint

Many of us take access to a free ATM for granted - but in one area of rural North Yorkshire, there are no cashpoints at all.

Consumer website Which? has revealed that the YO13 postal district - which includes a large number of villages around Scarborough - is one of 123 postcodes in the UK which do not contain a single on-street ATM.

YO13 covers a large rural area, including Ravenscar, West Ayton and Staintondale. However, the Spar store in East Ayton does contain a free cash machine inside the shop.

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The findings came after Which? surveyed cashpoint provision in light of a proposed shake-up of the ATM network, which they believe could lead to the removal of free-to-use machines in areas which already have few.

Which? money expert Gareth Shaw said:

"Reducing the free-to-use ATM network would hit consumers who rely on access to cash machines hard. These proposals could place a strain on communities across the UK that are already struggling to access the cash they need following mass bank closures. The financial regulator must intervene to avoid this situation getting worse."

The row centres around interchange fees - which fund the free-to-use ATM network. These fees are paid by card issuers such as banks and building societies to ATM operators.

Consultation plans previously outlined by Link include a reduction in interchange rates over the next four years, from around 25p to 20p per withdrawal.

Link's independent board has previously said that it will protect all free-to-use ATMs which are a kilometre or more from the next nearest free-to-use ATM.

John Howells, chief executive at Link, said:

"The UK has one of the largest free-to-use ATM networks anywhere in the world, and the number of free ATMs is at an all-time high and rising.

"We welcome the research produced by Which? and will review all of the areas that it has identified and take action if there is inadequate free ATM provision. Link is always looking for ways to improve the network, and extend our financial inclusion programme, which today subsidies ATMs in over 1,000 less affluent and rural communities."

The Treasury Committee has raised concerns, and has said its overriding priority is that consumers' ability to access cash does not suffer.

The Payment Systems Regulator has said it is monitoring the situation closely.