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Post Office and UK Banks’ partnership secure access to local banking services

Press Release   •   Jan 24, 2017 09:00 GMT

  • Unrivalled access to banking through the Post Office’s 11,600 branches offering longer hours and Sunday opening
  • 99 per cent of UK personal bank customers and over 75 per cent of business customers can do their day-to-day banking at the Post Office
  • 110 million banking transactions carried out last year - a six per cent increase on the previous year and more than 200 every minute
  • New deal builds upon agreement reached in 2015 to enable banking access through the Post Office for high street banks’ business and personal customers

From today, 99 per cent of UK personal bank customers and over 75 per cent of business customers can do their day-to-day banking at the Post Office, as a new industry-wide agreement with UK banks comes into effect. This will see the biggest expansion in face-to-face banking access in a generation.

The new agreement will bring together the Post Office’s existing arrangements with individual banks into a single set of cash and cheque services available to customers of virtually all UK banks. Card-based transactions will enable real-time credit and debit payments into customer accounts.

Last year the Post Office carried out 110 million banking transactions across its network – an average of over 200 a minute and a six per cent increase from the previous year, as even more customers benefited from the services provided. This is set to increase even further, as the new simplified service will offer easy access to day-to-day banking for both personal and business customers offering cash withdrawals, cash and cheque deposits and balance enquiries. Customers will also benefit from longer opening hours and over 4000 branches open on Sundays.

Through its unrivalled network of 11,600 branches around the UK, the Post Office plays an important part in financial inclusion. It is the most accessible place for handling financial transactions, particularly in remote areas - ensuring customers have the opportunity to access cash and basic banking services whenever and wherever they need, providing a vital stimulus for local businesses.

The Post Office has worked closely with all the UK banks since March 2015 to assist them in fulfilling their ‘continued access’ commitment to Government. By making sure alternative counter-based banking services are accessible through the Post Office, the impact of local branch closures on communities can be minimised.

This partnership also sees the Post Office, UK banks and Government working more closely to raise awareness of the services available to customers who still require face-to-face branch services.

Nick Kennett, Chief Executive of Post Office Financial Services said: “This is great news for both personal and business customers of our partner banks. We are working with banks to ensure that our network of bricks and mortar locations gives consistent and widest possible availability of face-to-face banking services across the UK, with many customers already benefitting from this.

“When people can get cash locally, they spend it there too.Access to cash plays a vital role in many local communities, acting as the lifeblood to consumers and small businesses. We offer unrivalled access to day-to-day banking through our extensive branch network with more branches now open for longer and on Sundays. Making banking services available through Post Offices better and more efficient will significantly improve overall ease of access, and ensure we are continuing to reach vulnerable customers and those in remote areas, who depend on it most.”

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.”

The Post Office is an essential part of the high street and has been at the heart of local communities for more than 370 years, continually adapting to meet the needs of local people and businesses. This as an important next step in ensuring communities continue to have local access to counter-based banking services even when their own bank branch is no longer available.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Kirby, said: “Ensuring people have access to the financial services they need is a vital part of our plan to build an economy that works for everyone. Now individuals and businesses can use their local Post Office branches to access even more high street bank services, making banking easier and more accessible. I welcome these ongoing efforts to open up banking services so they’re more convenient for everyone that uses them.”

Post Office Facts:

  1. In 2015, over 100 million banking transactions were carried at Post Office’s on behalf of partner banks
  2. The Post Office network consists of 11,600 branches
  3. Post Office opening hours have increased by 200,000 hours per week as part of the modernisation programme
  4. Extended hours include early morning and late evenings, and Sundays. The Post Office is the largest retailer to be open on Sunday with over 4000 branches.
  5. Many Post Offices have dedicated business banking counters
  6. 99.7% of the population live within three miles of a Post Office
  7. Post Office has over 2500 ATMs

Ends

About the Post Office

Post Office Limited has an unrivalled national network of over 11,600 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of many communities across the country.

It provides around 170 different services and products spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards. Post Office also offers Government services, telephony, foreign currency, travel insurance and mail services.

99.7% of people live within three miles of their nearest Post Office outlet. For many rural communities the Post Office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices remain highly valued and trusted and are the focal point for many communities. For more information, visit www.postoffice.co.uk.