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POST OFFICE: BRANCHES PLAY A VITAL ROLE IN UK’S BANKING INFRASTRUCTURE – NOW AND IN THE FUTURE

Press Release   •   Jan 28, 2016 14:46 GMT

POST OFFICE: BRANCHES PLAY A VITAL ROLE IN UK’S BANKING INFRASTRUCTURE – NOW AND IN THE FUTURE

  • New Social Market Foundation research reveals how consumers are balancing their use of technology and branch-based banking services
  • Post Office: ‘Findings are critical for industry and policymakers in ensuring the financial needs of all are understood’

A new study, ‘Balancing Bricks and Clicks’, by the Social Market Foundation and sponsored by Post Office, has today revealed exactly how UK consumers manage their money

The report looks at the interplay between digital and physical – how the former continue to disrupt and how the latter could become a competitive advantage in the future. It considers the implications of these changes: innovation for consumers, stronger competition, changing provision of financial advice and potential threats to financial inclusion.

Nick Kennett, Group Director Financial Services, Post Office Ltd, comments on the report: “Social Market Foundation’s findings provide a valuable insight as to how consumers are responding to new technology in managing their banking needs. Some are already happy to do their banking entirely digitally, while others still look to physical branches to carry out both simply and complex transactions. Many people, probably the majority at the moment, mix physical and digital at different times and for differing services. Understanding this balance – how it varies today and how it will evolve in the future – is vital to ensure that all sections of society continue to benefit from the latest banking services.

“This debate isn’t about one type of interaction being preferable to another, but instead about striking a balance between complimentary services – many other sectors, such as retail, have achieved this and so we in financial services should look at what we can learn from them. We believe this report is critical for industry and policymakers alike to ensure that the financial needs of all areas of society are understood and continue to be met.

“With 11,500 branches, Post Office is the largest UK retail network and at the heart of communities around the country. An extensive modernisation programme means we are well positioned to support consumers and small businesses manage their financial affairs, in particular undertaking banking transactions locally where bank branches may not be available. We are committed to ensuring customers have local access across the UK to basic banking services, as technology continues to develop alternative solutions.”

About the Post Office

The Post Office (Post Office Limited) has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The Post Office has made a commitment to maintaining its network of branches at its current size and reach. It provides around 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.

The Post Office serves over 17 million customers a week and a third of small businesses. Some 99.7% of the total population live within three miles of a post office and over 97% live with one mile of a post office. For many rural communities, the post office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information, visit http://www.postoffice.co.uk/.

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