Black people pay more to get their own money out of the bank

Black and minority ethnic people are more likely to live in areas where they have to pay fees for withdrawing cash from cash machines, according to new research by the Runnymede Trust.  The research is based on quantitative analysis of all of the 64,000 bank machines across the UK, whether they are located in high street banks, petrol stations, grocery shops or pubs.

With the closure of many high street banks and post offices, there is increasing concern about whether people living in rural and disadvantaged areas will be able to access cash easily.

Runnymede’s new research suggests that Black and minority ethnic people are more likely to live in areas with fee-charging cash machines. This can add additional banking costs of £120 a year if customers use their nearest bank machine. Areas with large BME populations have fewer cash machines, meaning that people in these areas have to travel further to access cash.

The number of people using cash machines to access cash is increasing every year. Because people in poorer areas are less able to access non-fee paying machines, a parliamentary working group chaired by John McFall MP has recently ensured that over 600 machines will be placed in disadvantaged areas. Runnymede’s research argues that government needs to ensure that Black and minority ethnic people are also well served by this scheme in particular and financial institutions more generally.

Dr Rob Berkeley, Runnymede Director, noted:-

“Regulation of financial services often seems distant from people’s everyday experience. Here is one very practical way in which government and banks could work together to ensure that all people in our society have equal access to services. We are working to look in greater depth at financial services to understand the ways in which they can lead to unequal outcomes for Black and minority ethnic people in Britain.”

John McFall MP, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee and Chair of a parliamentary working group on cash machines said:-

“It is important that we ensure our financial services serve all parts of our society. This report puts continued pressure on the banks to respond to the needs of all their customers and ensure financial inclusion for all.”

The report ‘Who pays to Access Cash?’ is available to download at www.runnymedetrust.org

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Posted by, Asif Yusuf



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