MPs expressed their disappointment at the lack of ATMs available in Cyprus at the House commerce committee on Tuesday.

Committee chairman and Disy MP Kyiacos Hadjiyiannis said he had contacted banks about the issue, but that “unfortunately, the banks told us they are not interested.”

He said that instead, they are “geared towards implementing new technologies, such as cashback.”

He added that these new technologies “work in an incomplete way, unknown to the market and to consumers and shopkeepers.”

He went on to say that banks are “devoid of social responsibility.

“It is with great disappointment that we received this negative response from them. It is imperative that they come to serve the elderly. It is their human right to receive money from a reasonable distance.”

He went on to say that “it is a shame what is happening, and I am sorry, because, at the end of the day, our banks only take. They absorb profit from people without returning anything at all.”

Akel MP Costas Costa said he was “greatly disappointed” that “representatives of the banks and the Central Bank are basically telling us that there is no problem.”

He added that they tried to “present some alternative methods that the elderly cannot use.”

It’s like they live in a parallel universe, in their own cloud. They don’t live in the real world, they don’t want to know what’s happening in the countryside and in the villages where pensioners are suffering.”

He added that this problem was exacerbated by the “scandalous closure of the Cooperative bank.”

He said banks had told the committee that “it would be a problem to install ATMs because the maintenance costs are too high.

Where do the hundreds of millions that banks make every year go? Could they not invest a very small part of those profits in real people?”

He added, “what we heard today is unacceptable, it is offensive, and it is provocative. Banks must begin to finally understand that they cannot behave in this way.”

Green MP Stavros Papadouris suggested that ATMs be placed outside police stations, as they exist in many villages.

This, he said, “would solve the issues both of security and coverage in communities.”

“However, it appears the banks have no intention of doing such a thing,” he said.

There are currently fewer than 500 ATMs in Cyprus.