Business

MP Andrew Tyrie seeks RBS account explanation

RBS ATMs
Image caption Nearly one million customers are affected by the restrictions on use of cash machines

The chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland is being asked by an MP to explain restrictions it has put on using cash machines for some customers.

In August, 1m RBS customers with basic bank accounts were told they could withdraw money only from RBS, NatWest, Tesco or Morrison cash machines.

Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury select committee, has written to RBS; he says those most at risk of financial exclusion will be hit hardest.

RBS has blamed the move on costs.

Mr Tyrie has also written to Lloyds banking group asking about its policy. RBS and Lloyds are the two high street banks with significant taxpayer shareholdings.

The RBS move affects customers with basic accounts that do not offer overdrafts or chequebooks. They can also withdraw over the counter at Post Offices.

The bank explained the change at the time by saying the cost of offering a wider range of ATMs - or cash machines - to basic bank account customers was now "unsustainable".

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Media captionJames Daley, Which? Money: "It's hitting the most vulnerable in society"

"We face a charge per bank transaction, which needs to be recovered elsewhere," RBS said.

Mr Tyrie says the decision places in doubt the bank's commitment to offering basic accounts, something the government wants to be more widely available.

He is also asking Lloyds to explain why it already stops its basic account holders from using competitors' cash terminals.

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