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Post Office announces new agreement with 28 UK banks to ensure millions of people across the UK have national free access to everyday banking services

Press release   •   Oct 08, 2019 09:41 BST

  • 130 MILLION CASH WITHDRAWALS, DEPOSITS AND BALANCE ENQUIRIES UNDERTAKEN BY CUSTOMERS OF UK BANKS AT POST OFFICE BRANCHES LAST YEAR
  • OVER 11,500 POST OFFICE BRANCHES PROVIDE A LIFELINE TO CASH WITHDRAWALS FOR MORE VULNERABLE CUSTOMERS AND THOSE LIVING IN URBAN DEPRIVED AND RURAL AREAS
  • NEW AGREEMENT ENSURES THAT THE RIGHT PAYMENT LEVELS ARE IN PLACE FOR POSTMASTERS PROVIDING THESE ESSENTIAL SERVICES
  • ONLY ONE BANK (BARCLAYS) CHOOSES TO REMOVE OVER THE COUNTER CASH WITHDRAWALS AT POST OFFICE BRANCHES FROM 8TH JANUARY 2020

The Post Office has announced a new Banking Framework agreement with 28 UK banks to ensure that millions of their customers continue to have national, free access to everyday banking services, at the same time as ensuring postmasters and Post Office receive a fair remuneration for providing these vital services.

Last year Post Office branches handled over 130 million transactions on behalf of UK banks. With over 11,500 branches the Post Office is ideally positioned to provide everyday banking services for individuals and businesses. Post Office branches remain at the heart of communities across the UK, including those where bank branches no longer exist. Millions of customers of UK banks rely on these vital services – more than a quarter of people (28 percent) have withdrawn cash at their local Post Office in the last year.*

For people living in more rural or urban deprived areas Post Office branches are a real lifeline, ensuring the financial inclusion of more vulnerable customers by providing vital services such as cash withdrawals, bill payments and postal services all under one roof. With more than half of people (52 per cent) having visited cash only retailers in the last year, easy access to cash is key for both retailers and consumers *.

Martin Kearsley, Director of Banking Services, Post Office said: “We have been working with the banks to ensure we have the right service levels across our network to meet their customers’ needs and to ensure our branches receive a fair remuneration for providing these vital services.”

Recent Post Office research showed that over four in five people (85 per cent) are pleased that their bank offers the convenience of accessing everyday banking services at Post Office branches.*

Martin Kearsley continued: “We’re delighted to have signed this agreement with almost every UK bank, ensuring that their customers, no matter what their personal circumstances or location may be, can have convenient and secure access to everyday banking services such as cash withdrawals and deposits. With 93 per cent of people living within a mile of a Post Office our branches are ideally situated to provide easy access to vital banking services.”

Minister for Postal Affairs, Kelly Tolhurst, said: “Post Offices provide a vital public service to local communities up and down the country including by offering banking services. I am delighted that banks have signed this new agreement, enabling the Post Office to continue positively impacting people's lives and supporting SMEs, as well as ensuring post masters’ pay is fair and reflective of the essential service they provide.”

All the banks have reconfirmed their commitment through the new agreement that their customers can access a range of cash and cheque banking services at Post Office branches. However, the Post Office said it was disappointed that Barclays has chosen to stop allowing their customers to make cash withdrawals from 8th January 2020. Barclays’ customers will be able to continue to deposit cash, cheques and access change and balance enquiries at Post Office branches after this date as these services are unaffected by this decision.

In 2017 the Post Office and the major UK High Street banks entered into an industry-wide agreement enabling anyone with a UK bank account to undertake a wide range of banking transactions at post offices, ensuring there are convenient, local banking facilities available for individuals and businesses in communities across the UK, even when the last bank branch has closed.

Since then, the Post Office has been working closely with the Banks to agree an improved fee structure which reflects the true value of the excellent service that Post Office branches undertake on their behalf, as the number of bank branches continues to reduce. This new agreement ensures that easy access to everyday banking services can be maintained right across the country, while remunerating postmasters appropriately and allowing the Post Office to invest in future service improvements.

Ends

*Figures are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2076 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th - 8th August 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

About the Post Office

  • With over 11,500 branches, the Post Office network is the biggest retail network in the UK, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined.
  • 98% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.
  • The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.
  • We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches and over 2000 ATMs and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.
  • Thousands of Post Office branches are now open longer, with 4000 open 7 days a week, making it even easier for customers to access vital services.
  • We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

About Post Office:

  • With 11,500 branches, the Post Office is among the larger retail networks in the UK.
  • 97% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.
  • The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.
  • We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches and an additional 2,500 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.
  • We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.
  • Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information; visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities; visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk