An Aberdeen business owner today said he has been “penalised” for getting a new cash machine installed outside his shop.
Brian Ogg, who runs discount shop Colourbox in Mastrick Shopping Centre, claims his rent has increased by £1,000 a year since pushing to get the new ATM put in outside his store.
There was anger after the closure of the centre’s Clydesdale Bank in June, with residents in the area complaining of long queues to withdraw cash from the one bank machine left in the area.
Mr Ogg, who offered his shop as a site for a new dispenser, said he immediately saw his rent increase by £1,000 a year when it was installed earlier this month.
He said: “There was only one cash machine and it was always broken down, so I thought I better get a cash machine put in there.
“I needed to get consent from the landlord which took about 18 weeks.
“They also wanted to increase my rent because they thought I might make more money.
“I was trying to do something for Mastrick and I have been penalised. Why should I have to pay extra?”
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Firm FG Burnett acts as agent for the shopping centre but the landlord is a London-based firm who Mr Ogg does not deal directly with.
Mr Ogg added he believes the landlord should actually be reducing rents at the site to encourage business in a tough climate.
He said: “There’s heaps of shops sitting empty.
“Instead of getting a rent reduction, they increase my rent.
“Everybody is delighted I got this cash machine. People can’t believe they could do this.”
Aberdeen Donside MSP Mark McDonald, who also campaigned for a new cash machine to be installed in the shopping centre, previously welcomed the move as a “really positive development for Mastrick”.
He said the ATM would provide better access to cash for residents and shoppers and would be a “major boost” to the local businesses in the area.
Clydesdale Bank closed a total of 40 branches across Scotland as part of a plan to create a “truly integrated digital, mobile, telephone and branch service for customers”.
They added the move was in response to changes in the way customers wanted to bank with the firm.
A spokeswoman for FG Burnett declined to comment and declined to provide contact details for the London-based landlord.