ARE disappearing cash machines another manifestation of bank chicanery?

In essence, a customer deposits their money with a bank for safe-keeping. In return, the depositor foregoes interest as a form of payment for this basic service, and the bank has temporary use of this money on its balance sheet until the depositor requires it.

While this money is on the balance sheet, however, the bank can use it instantly to make substantial profits from lending on the basis of this liquidity. As well as for mortgages etc, this money is very often used as very short-term bridging loans, at very high interest rates, sometimes even at three-figure percent, most frequently during the overnight period when depositors are not likely to take money out. None of this interest is passed on, but constitutes the proceeds of all depositors’ money, used to fund costs in providing the safe-keeping service and provide profits.

Why, then, should any depositor find difficulty in accessing their own money how and when they choose? Moreover, why should they be charged at all for accessing their own money, which they “lent” to provide the bank with profits? There is and never has been any such thing as free banking – a fairy story promoted by banks to make us accept a creeping list of charges.

Whilst a small charge for services beyond the simple safe-keeping of our money, such as overdrafts, may be reasonable, we should all remember that we are lending our money, free of charge, for banks to make money from it.

With bank closures and cash machine removals running at such an increasing rate, many customers now find it virtually impossible to get hold of their own money in cash form. Many remote and rural areas, as well as smaller towns, now have neither bank branch nor free cash machine, necessitating a round trip of 50 or 60 miles to access their cash.

No consideration of isolation of the elderly and vulnerable, reduction of sales for businesses, lack of public transport, remote areas being avoided, shops serving cash customers who require cash in change. Lack of cash facilities in such areas has many detrimental effects.

In practical terms, this amounts to banks operating a system whereby they can hold on to depositors’ money, without penalty, for longer. How much more might they earn in a few hours overnight if folk have to leave their money in until they find the means to retrieve it?

If banks could for once think of the depositors who help to fund their operations instead of profit, a cooperative solution could surely be found to ensure that no-one was left without reasonably easy and fast access to cash. While debt is crippling

so many and damaging the economy, is it not the case that those who use mainly cash have the lowest debt, and sometimes even none, through knowing instantly the effect of their spending?

It is high time banks were forced at the very least to come together to increase, not decrease, availability and ensure a free cash machine fairly convenient to all areas. They must not be allowed to force everyone into a cashless system that some cannot manage efficiently.

P Davidson

NOT surprised that the Queen is rather annoyed, as she’s been shown up as just another pensioner who was taken in by the UK Government’s propaganda that only it could ensure their pensions would continue to hold their value after Scottish independence.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry