Wednesday 25 January 2017

Post Office To Invest In Banking Sectors

Post Office

Under the new arrangements with the banking industry, 99 per cent of bank customers will be able to carry out basic needs across the postal network.

The service allows customers to make cash withdrawals, cash and cheque deposits, as well as balance inquiries.

It comes as HSBC announced it's closing another 62 branches in 2017.

The standardised banking services at the Post Office will replace the currrent differing arrangements, depending on their provider.

Nick Kennett, chief executive of Post Office Financial Services, said: "Access to cash plays a vital role in many local communities, acting as the lifeblood to consumers and small businesses."

Under the partnership the Post Office, banks and the Government are to work to raise awareness of the services available to customers who require face-to-face branch services.

More than 1,000 high street bank branches have closed over the past two years, according to recent research by consumer watchdog Which?

The British Bankers' Association (BBA) said in December more people now use online and mobile banking to manage money and this meant fewer people are using of bank branches, which was leading to closures.

Vulnerable and old people without access to the internet are typically worst hit by the reduced access to branches.

HSBC's previous branch cuts had equated to about a quarter of its network, while the RBS and Lloyds banking groups had made branch cuts equating to around 10 per cent and 14 per cent of their networks respectively, according to the Which? research.

The BBA said the decision to close a bank branch "is never taken lightly".

The Post Office, which has 11,600 branches across the UK, said customers will also benefit from longer opening hours as part of a modernisation programme, with over 4,000 branches being open on Sundays.

Business Minister Margot James said: "Millions of consumers and small businesses across the UK will now benefit from unrivalled access to banking services, including on Sundays, thanks to the Post Office.

"This is the biggest expansion in branch banking services in a generation and I am delighted the network is able to offer these services to so many customers."

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Simon Kirby said: "I welcome these ongoing efforts to open up banking services so they're more convenient for everyone that uses them."



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