Molly coddled with cash

Jimmy The Local Boy's picture

*Now, I would like to start this, well, rant with the caveat that I am not just another Daily Mail reader getting on their soapbox.*

However, in a world that I increasingly feel is going PC-mad (that's political correctness, not personal computer), the news that there's to be £5-only cash machines left me flabbergasted. It's not necessarily the fact that there are to be cash machines where only £5 can be withdrawn, but more the reasoning behind it.

Here's what the MD of the company operating the cash machine had to say:

"Busy sites in areas where we believe consumers would benefit from managing their budgets with smaller denominations are top of the list."

Firstly, a touch on the patronising side that, don't you think? And secondly, are the people the cash machine is allegedly aimed at really that inept at budgeting? If so, the lengths that are needed to go to in order to help people is ridiculous. Do they really have that little self-control that they can't get a tenner out and only spend a fiver? And, in these cash-stricken times, what can you realistically get for a fiver?

I'm sorry if this sounds like an undirected sounding off, but I just worry that there are too many people now who need to have their hands held in so many areas of their lives that we're in danger of becoming the nanny state we're (rightly) against.

Surely it would be better to invest in better financial education. Yes, there will be people who will make the same mistakes regardless (I mean, despite what we're taught, some people believe Nazism is the way forward...), but people will not only have their independence but - hopefully - also a better hold on their finances.

Does that make sense, or am I living in a dream world?

Your Comments

Years ago I remember that HSBC used to allow take outs of £5 from the cash machine. It was good baack then as a very young person who didnt really have much going into her bank each month and no over draft. I suppose the other thing to consider is that £5 is still enough to feed a family, so if you were on benefits or something, or otherwise hard up and needed the last dregs of your money. I suppose you could pay with a card and get the same thing but if you needed cash at least its there.

Anyway on another note I think yes we do need much better financial education in this country, but I still think that whilst uni grads are told that student debt is like a mortgage, which is what my careers advisor told me, and that you should see it as an investment in you, this sort of attitude is only going to lead to more people who dont know how to manage money.

I am currently pregnant with our first child and I really wonder about the logic of sending them to uni. Me and my husband both went and both have reasonably well paid jobs because of our degrees, but its certainly not a given any more and I cant see things getting any better over the next 18 or so years before they go off.

Ramble, ramble...

I agree with you Jimmy.
What notes cash machines give out these days is largely irrelevant as since my local coffee shop started taking cards I've got absolutely no need to carry cash with me. If I need to buy something I can put it on my card.

It's far to easy to blame banks for ripping us off but we aren't a completely inept nation and need to take responsibility for our own financial affairs.

I am a long term advocate fo the cashless society, having never carried money for years (much to the amusement/annoyance of family and friends). I regularly travel the world on business and still continue to only travel with a selection of plastic cards and no local currency. However, I recognise that this doesn't suit everyone. I believe that this £5 cash machine (ATM) is a good idea as some people whether it be through temptation, lack of discipline or common sense find it hard to manage money so a £5 only ATM is a good thing to help them. For many years now I have felt banks were conning the public with ATMs, back in the 80s and early 90s you used to be able to withdraw £5, £10 and £20 notes but that soon stopped with the loss of the £5 note and in some cases the £10 note, making only £20 the minimum the option. I personally always felt that this was the banks forcing people to draw out much more than they needed so they would fritter their money away and end up overdrawn and hence having to pay the bank exorbitant charges. I am still convinced that this was/is their underlying ploy but in my opinion the £5 ATM is a good thing and if I'm ever in a situation where I only need a small amount of cash for likes of car parking then I will certainly make use of these ATMs.

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