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Free ATMs vanishing as another 1,700 have started charging

Almost 1,700 free ATMs have started charging for cash withdrawals between January and March this year, with 1,250 becoming fee-paying in March alone.

The research was carried out by consumer group Which?, using data from ATM network Link.

Which? says the affected machines will now charge at least 95p for each cash withdrawal.

According to the consumer group, most of the affected ATMs are operated by Cardtronics, which has warned it may introduce charges for another 1,000 cash machines over the coming months.

The data has sparked concerns about people's access to cash, with bank branches and ATMs disappearing. Which? has called for a regulator to be created to make sure no one is cut off from cash.

How to withdraw cash for free

You can find your closest free cash machine by entering your postcode into Link's ATM finder tool, which will give you a list of nearby machines and their charges.

You can also withdraw cash from your bank account at your nearest post office, which also offers some other essential banking services, such as paying in cash and cheques.

See our Little-known ways to bank at the post office blog for more information.

What do ATM providers say?

Link chief executive John Howells said: "There are more than 50,000 free-to-use ATMs across the UK, 10,000 more than we had in 2009, and currently 12,700 pay-to-use cash machines, down from over 23,000 in 2009.

"Less than 3% of withdrawals at Link ATMs incur a fee."

He added: "However, we agree with Which? that regulatory support is needed, as there is a risk to cash access in the long-run."

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