Cash machine rip-off in newspapers

#1
The Herald on Sunday highlights a "rip-off" whereby you get hit for over £1 for cash withdrawls on camp.

I would either cash a cheque in the bar or use the Spar spend-over-£5 cashback facility to avoid the rip-off - I've never seen a "free" cash machine in any officers' mess.

Cash scandal as MoD profit from Black Watch

By Teresa Hunter

Families of Scottish soldiers – including those of members of the Black Watch serving in Iraq – are being charged by private companies every time they take money out of cash machines on UK military bases.
Claims that “free” ATMs have been restricted to the officers’ mess on some bases are also being investigated.

The revelation has sparked an outcry and politicians have condemned the charging of servicemen and women and their families, especially when many are on active service in Iraq.

Bases across the UK have installed cash machines operated by private companies, not high street banks, meaning thousands of army and RAF servicemen and women are now charged £1.50 each time they withdraw money.

Most of the charging machines are in shops and centres run by the Naafi (Navy, Army and Air Force Institute), which receives between 70p and 90p of every charge levied.

Many families have to use the machines inside the base as commitments often prevent them from leaving the site to use non-charging machines.

Families of the Black Watch regiment, currently based at Warminster, are among hundreds who have no access to a free machine on the base. At RAF Leuchars and RAF Kinloss families also face £1.50 charges. At some bases, such as Brize Norton, there are some free machines, while others charge.

There is also evidence that at bases such as RAF Cranwell, in Lincolnshire, the free machine is in the officers’ mess and other ranks have to pay to access their money.

John McFall, the Dumbarton MP and chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, said the committee would examine the issue at next month’s inquiry into the rapid growth of fee-charging machines.

He said: “ One issue which is likely to concern members would be the lack of choice and opportunity which service families may enjoy to withdraw cash for free.”

SNP leader Alex Salmond is outraged at the revelations. He said: “This is a shameful exploitation of army families while our soliders are in the front line on active service.”

As controversy over the charges grows, a spokeman for Naafi told the Sunday Herald it has decided to review whether to continue running them.

Most of Naafi’s machines are supplied by Money Box, and chairman Peter McNamara said the site owner typically earned 70p-90p per withdrawal.

He said: “In most cases were it not for the fact that we have installed a cash dispenser, there wouldn’t one at all, because the economics of demand would not justify one.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said if there is a demand for a free machine, local banks would usually attempt to provide one. He also stressed there was no central government policy covering the installation of cash machines throughout bases, with such matters organised locally.

He said: “It is certainly not our objective to fleece any soliders or their communities. We would hope that where charges are being levied any profits are fed back into welfare arrangements for the service families.”

After hearing of the plight of the service families from the Sunday Herald, Barclays Bank said it would contact the MoD to begin discussions about installing free dispensers wherever there was demand.

A spokesman for Nationwide, which assisted the Sunday Herald with its survey of the ATM locations and charges on bases , said: “What we found most surprising is that where there are both free ones and charging ones, the free ones are sometimes in the officers mess while the ordinary solider’s family has to pay.

“This makes a mockery of the usual argument that it is not worth installing free machines because of the footfall.”
 
#2
Why does every moral outrage appear to be linked to the black watch. I'm sure the blackwatch are getting fed up of their name being used in vane
every time some one is upset about something vaguely military

DON'T USE THE CASH POINTS IF YU DON'T LIKE IT TIS A FREE WORLD DONCHA KNOW
 
#3
“What we found most surprising is that where there are both free ones and charging ones, the free ones are sometimes in the officers mess while the ordinary solider’s family has to pay.
The Guardianistas will be moaning about class system, officer’s privileges etc. The Officers’ machines may be free at source but I’ll bet that part of their mess fees go to paying for them. And any ordinary poor working class cap doffing squaddie who finds himself in the Officers’ mess on duty will take the opportunity to get some ‘free’ money. Ditto Private Aitkins wife who is Mess Hall Porter. Quite right too.

This is a non story.
 
#4
SNP leader Alex Salmond is outraged at the revelations. He said: “This is a shameful exploitation of army families while our soliders are in the front line on active service.”
First time Alex has missed out the Scottish before Army families for a while I should imagine.
 
#5
Agree with seadog. A total non story.

The camp i'm at has money box cash machines in the spar, and a perfectly good lloyds cash point about fifty meters away. And people still use the money box one.

Soldiers are consumers and therefore have choice. Either get some cashback next time your at a till or plan ahead to avoid being charged to withdraw cash. Money box have a right to make a profit, its up to the individual whether you use their services. My pikey, dole raking chav sister inlaw has a debit card, i'm sure a banking soldier with a regular wage would qualify for one. The story makes out that soldiers and their families are locked in camp 24/7, what a complete load of crap. If anybody is being ripped off, its because they chose to be.

Havent these lot got anything better to do than worry about this?

Boney
 
#6
Only everseen cash machines on one camp that was Blandford.
There were 2 from high street banks and then in the Naafi Spar they had the pay through your ARRSE machine at the end of the day personnel choice. All the others i've seen have been in Spars outside camp in the middle of nowhere, captive audience if the banks wont put them there it means they'd be to expensive to install in such a remote area so if someone else puts them in of course there gonna charge. Never heard of one in an Officers mess though I wouldn't blame them as the others always seem to run out on a weekend strangely enough. :lol: :lol:
 
#7
Agree with you so far - non story in itself. Same thing applies for a lot of civvys anyway. Several villages round here with no free machines, or even post offices, any more. Lots of locals are on some form of benefit (some for genuine reasons :roll: ) and have to either (!) pay to use private machine or (2) pay to travel into town to a bank, where they often have to pay anyway 'cos may have to use a different bank's machine.

But this type of story can be damaging - how many people, faced with continuous "Army this, BW that" lose any sympathy they may have for the forces and find themselves thinking "Stuff the whinging scrotes"?

Got a few mates myself who I've had to put right on that one :(


Oh, before anyone mis-quotes this, best do it for you.....


Little Jack H said:
Got ... few mates myself....
:p
 
#8
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said if there is a demand for a free machine, local banks would usually attempt to provide one......

“It is certainly not our objective to fleece any soliders or their communities. We would hope that where charges are being levied any profits are fed back into welfare arrangements for the service families.”
Yerr right. So consumers ask to pay for the extra fee? And the extra fee is going back to welfare? Never seen one in an officers' mess, only in the NAAFI Spar, and as others said - use their cashback facility instead, or other cashpoints being only a few minutes away. There's always alternatives.
thegimp said:
Why does every moral outrage appear to be linked to the black watch. I'm sure the blackwatch are getting fed up of their name being used in vane
every time some one is upset about something vaguely military
True - That's the media for you I'm afraid - link anything to a topical issue to sell the papers, and then probably say that they thought it would be beneficial to them in some way. I'm surprised they didn't get a mention in the Queens Speech.
 
#9
boney_m said:
Agree with seadog. A total non story.

The camp i'm at has money box cash machines in the spar, and a perfectly good lloyds cash point about fifty meters away. And people still use the money box one.

Soldiers are consumers and therefore have choice. Either get some cashback next time your at a till or plan ahead to avoid being charged to withdraw cash. Money box have a right to make a profit, its up to the individual whether you use their services. My pikey, dole raking chav sister inlaw has a debit card, i'm sure a banking soldier with a regular wage would qualify for one. The story makes out that soldiers and their families are locked in camp 24/7, what a complete load of crap. If anybody is being ripped off, its because they chose to be.

Havent these lot got anything better to do than worry about this?

Boney
True but that particular lloyds machine despite an upgrade is often on the blink and it is often empty by Friday night as everyone has used it for weekend leave and Friday night dancing!!

Also the long queue puts the kids off so they right off £1.50 so they dont have to.

It is a non story where a base has a regular free machine (although not all banks are free to each other) you pay the £1.50 for convienience but my current pad estate does not have a free machine. So you either use the £1.50 machine or get in the car and drive into town to get your beer tokens.
 
#10
Fact of life I am sorry to say. I live near a large town with at least one of every major banks ATM's if you look for them, but you still see people using the 'Money Box' ATM in the shopping centre? In my village we have a post office, small supermarket with 'Money Box' ATM and a co-op with co-op Bank ATM which is free to use for all banks. So why do people still use the 'Money Box' ATM with £1.50 fee "Because its handy" This is not just a service thing at all.
 
#11
NAAFI Financial currently provides 10 free to use cash machines.

Where troops are confined to base, whether because of training or security, we offer a free to use machine. In addition Brize Norton has two free machines to facilitate easy access to cash as soon as troops reach the UK.

At present we are unaware of any ATM operators prepared to service low transacting machines for free, but we aim to keep charges to a minimum in order to provide a service that might otherwise be unavailable.

There is no discrimination on charges made between officers and junior ranks.

A percentage of all charges is returned to the NAAFI which ultimately feeds into the Forces Welfare Fund.

The cost of providing a charging ATM is approximately £14,000 a year and requires 750 transactions a month in order to break even. 138 of the charging machines managed by NAAFI Financial do not achieve this target.

As part of the continual assessment of its ATM service NAAFI Financial is ensuring that the advice of charges is as clear as possible and is investigating a satisfactory way to display the location of the nearest free to use machine.

Al Voice, Managing Director of NAAFI Financial said today:

“In the early stages of developing the ATM estate four years ago I approached a number of banks including the Nationwide to investigate their willingness to provide free ATMs on military establishments and met with a negative response. So I am a little surprised to read some of the comments emanating from that quarter in recent days”

Al went on to say:

“We are in the business of supporting our forces, not pulling a fast one. In fact we have written over £750 million of Life cover in the last 12 months for those being deployed to the Gulf which we are really proud about. We have even paid out claims to soldiers who, because of various circumstances, had not paid a single premium. Track records are very important in the insurance industry, NAAFI Financial have never withdrawn cover on any of its products in the face of serious threats to peace such as 9.11 and the Gulf Wars, and remains the only provider in this specialist market to have continually provided cover.”
 

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