A CAMPAIGN has been launched to stop Borders cash-machines charging customers.

The second largest ATM provider in the UK has announced plans to start charging for withdrawing notes.

NoteMachine wants to convert around 3,000 of its 7,000 currently free-to-use holes-in-the-wall to charge for withdrawals over the next 10 weeks.

The firm plans to introduce the charges to 300 ATMs each week starting with the ones used the least.

And three cash machines in Hawick, two in Jedburgh and one in Galashiels could be affected.

Local MP John Lamont has slammed the decision.

Ahead of meeting with NoteMachine’s chief executive, to urge him to reverse the arrangement, he has launched a campaign to keep the machines cost free.

Mr Lamont told us: “This is really disappointing news that could hit cash machines across the Borders.

“I have spoken to NoteMachine about this and will be meeting their chief executive soon to urge them to rethink their approach.

"Not only is it unfair for people to have to pay to get their own money, the way NoteMachine is rolling this change out is all wrong.

"By charging for less used cash machines, rural areas like the Borders will inevitably be hit first.

“While habits are changing, rural communities still need access to cash and the loss of free ATMs can have a big blow on local businesses.

“As I’ve said before, I also think it’s time the UK Government steps in to see what it can do to help protect access to cash, particularly in rural areas like the Borders.”

The company blames cuts to the interchange fee paid for by banks, which is intended to be reduced by 20p over the next four years, for their decision to start charging.