Outrage over ATMs being taken away

CANDICE BRADFIELD

BATHURST residents are angered by the sudden removal of one of the two existing ATMS from the village which they say will cause great inconvenience.

One FNB ATM was removed from Shangri La superette on Tuesday morning and the second one is due to be taken from the Corner Shop at the end of the month.

SERVICE REMOVED: People queuing up to use the FNB ATM inside Shangri La in Bathurst before it was moved earlier this week Picture: KEVIN THOMAS

According to co-owner of Shangri La, Nadine Muir, the bank did not give them a reason as to why they were removing the ATM.

Those who used to use it did not necessarily buy at the shop. For Muir that is not the problem. For some it is not so easy to drive to Port Alfred to draw money. She said pensioners and the blind were using the service on a regular basis.

“We get holiday makers who don’t want to swipe (their cards). And most shops (in Bathurst) don’t have that facility,” she said.

She said some people felt safer using the ATM in the shop as no one would see them and know they were carrying cash around with them. Muir knows of a business person who switched to FNB to save on bank charges.

“It has caused a lot of inconvenience,” she said.

There is currently a petition with nearly 100 names to have the ATM brought back.

Resident Jenny Drummond has banked with FNB since 1984 and says she is highly disgusted. She said she feels sorry for the pensioners who cannot just get into a car and go to town.

“It’s a disservice to the black community big time,” she said.

Lynette Corbett agrees. She said it used to be a service for those living in Bathurst.

According to manager at FNB’s Port Alfred branch, John Barnes, the ATM Networks Self Service Channels division extract the data and if the number of transactions does not warrant it being there, they will remove it.

Questions were also directed to FNB corporate communications but we did not receive a response at the time of going to print.

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