MPs have urged RBS and Lloyds TSB to allow customers with basic bank accounts to use their cards in rivals’ cash machines, saying that limiting withdrawals could lead to a decrease in the number of free ATMs.
This is, believe it or not, a desire to do something (thought not by actually doing something themselves, you understand, merely by urging others to do the heavy lifting while they trouser their allowances) about that pressing issue in 2012 – ‘financial inclusion’.
And what is that?
Well, like most other things with the word ‘inclusion’ appended to it, a desire for a free lunch for some, paid for by everyone else.
The committee suggested the ban, introduced by Lloyds TSB in 2006 and RBS in 2011, could cut access to free cash machines if copied by other basic bank account providers.
“The main purpose behind the development of the basic bank account initiative was to improve financial inclusion. It is particularly regrettable that this ‘beggar my neighbour’ approach may therefore lead to the closure or, in the case of cash machines not operated by banks, change to charging at existing free to use cash machines,” the committee said.
Banks are businesses. Why should they give away their services free?
I can understand why MPs still believe in the free lunch, mind you. For them, it always is…