Nationwide criticised for halting Cash Card small withdrawals

Move will hurt vulnerable consumers, say campaign groups.

Nationwide is to stop customers with Cash Card accounts from making over the counter withdrawals of less than £100, saying they will have to use cash points from June 7 instead. However the move by the building society has been criticised by the groups Which? and AGE UK (formerly Help the Aged and Age Concern), who say that it could make it harder for vulnerable groups less comfortable using ATMs to manage their finances.

The change does not affect Nationwide customers who use the Visa Debit Card FlexAccount or passbook-operated accounts. Nationwide said they had taken the move in order to reduce queuing times for over the counter services in its branches. "We have looked at how we can improve the branch experience and have found that around a third of all transactions we see at the counter could be carried out more quickly using a cash machine, the majority of which are situated inside our branches," it said in a statement. "If a branch doesn't have a cash machine, it's not working or the customer has a disability which prevents them from using the cash machine, they can still make a withdrawal at the counter," it added.