(413) ATM deserts in the UK

Card MemorialAfter two years aggregating material on suburban-poverty.com we aren’t surprised when some new level of detail emerges about the constant stress and inconvenience of poverty. One day into 2014 and we are learning about bank machine deserts.  Even when doing something as relatively simple as accessing your own money for some basic errand social difficulty can assert itself.

Distance exerts a tyranny over those not doing particularly well as we see in data emerging in the UK about income and bank-machine locations.  There are some 269 areas where low income people are more than a half mile from the nearest bank machine that doesn’t charge them for withdrawals.  This represents a slight improvement from an earlier estimate of free cash machine scarcity for the UK but a government poverty adviser took exception in a piece in today’s Guardian to the difficulty low income people face in accessing their own money.

It looks like there is a need for some regulation of fees and machine accessibility in the UK.  Apparently some seven million people in the country live almost completely off cash which is usually needed more by those on low incomes.

300,000 poor people live more than 1km from free cash machine. Labour MP Frank Field says figures show it is ‘time to take the gloves off’, with not enough progress in poorer areas

image: One Half 3544 via Wikimedia Commons