RBS customers charged for using rival ATMs.

RBS has stated that its customers with a no-fee Basic account will no longer be able to use rival cashpoints because it incurs a charge each time.

The basic account is the rock-bottom no frills bank account for those who otherwise wouldn't be eligible for a bank account. This will also affect NatWest customers with Basic accounts, while it has always been the case that LloydsTSB Basic account-holders have no access to rival ATMs.

The move has left consumer groups fuming. Financial inclusion expert Marie Burton said: 'This is a kick in the teeth for many of RBS's most vulnerable customers. We would call on RBS to reconsider this move, which will exclude its basic bank account holders from using the majority of the UK's free cash machine network.

'Although there are still nearly a million people without bank accounts, the banking sector has been working hard to steadily reduce this figure. 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.'

Michael Ossei from uSwitch.com, added: 'This move is going to leave the most vulnerable customers stuck between a rock and a hard place. Unless they are able to qualify for a better bank account, they will have no option but to use a limited number of cash machines.'

'This will hit those customers who do not live or work in the vicinity of an RBS cash machine particularly hard and could result in them incurring extra travelling costs just to be able to take money out. And with 318 RBS branches being sold to Santander, this is only going to get worse rather than better.'

But an RBS spokesman countered by saying: 'RBS is fully committed to offering a free basic account for people who may otherwise struggle to access banking services. Our basic account customers will continue to have free access to one of the largest cash machine networks in the country, including RBS, NatWest and Tesco ATMs, and can withdraw cash from more than 11,000 post offices across the UK.'

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