Nationwide has been criticised following reports that the building society will stop some customers from making withdrawals of less than £100 over the counter. Customers with its Cash Card accounts will have to withdraw smaller amounts from cash points, starting 7th June 2010.Campaigners have argued, that this will disproportionately affect some customers.
Vera Cottrell, from the consumer advisory service Which?, said: ‘We are surprised and very disappointed at this, because it makes life more difficult for people on lower incomes and the vulnerable – groups that Nationwide has been good with in the past.’ A spokesperson for AGE UK, said: ‘Many older people prefer to withdraw small amounts for security and budgeting reasons, and would feel uncomfortable taking out £100 in one transaction. Cash machines are absolutely fine for many older people. But some people do find them difficult to use and would much prefer to go into the bank.’
Nationwide has defended its decision, saying that it would reduce queuing times for the majority of customers. In a written statement if also confirmed that if a branch does not have a cash machine, if the case machine is out of order, or if ‘the customer has a disability which prevents them from using the cash machine’, withdrawals from the counter would still be permitted.