Post office eases bank branch closure pain

An action plan aims to raise awareness of banking services available at Post Office branches among local communities grappling with bank branch closures.

The five-point plan has been developed by the finance industry and the Post Office working with the Treasury and government officials.

It will promote awareness of the day-to-day banking services that bank and building society customers can access at 11,500 Post Office branches across the UK.

Some 99% of personal account customers and 95% of business account customers can withdraw and deposit cash, deposit cheques and check balances at any of the Post Office's branches.

Many bank customers already visit Post Office branches to access their business and personal accounts – but there is still limited awareness of these vital services.

An infographic describing banking services offered by the post office is available here.

Customers who will benefit most from the availability of the service, particularly those in rural or urban areas with less bank branch coverage, are the primary focus of the plan.

The plan seeks to:

1. Raise awareness of banking services available at the Post Office via regional and targeted localised pilot media campaigns1. These will be timed to coincide with Post Office in-branch campaigns across the Post Office network.

2. Support specific communities, including those impacted by bank branch closures, through information leaflets, joint Post Office and bank outreach to communities and improved collaboration between Post Office and banks during any bank branch closures.

3. Promote the Post Office as an integral channel for day-to-day banking, with clear and prominent information for customers in banks’ literature, on websites and telephony channels.

4. Provide enhanced support for vulnerable consumers to be developed based on Citizens’ Advice best practice guidelines.

5. Carry out ongoing monitoring of awareness and confidence in the Post Office counter service.

John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury, said it was crucial that face-to-face everyday banking services remained available despite the move to online banking.

He added: “The Post Office can provide most daily cash banking needs, and it’s vital as many people as possible know about this important assistance.”

Post Office group chief executive Paula Vennells said the Post Office was committed to ensuring that all its customers had easy access to cash.

Almost 93% of people live within a mile of their local post office, and 99.7% live within three miles, she said.

“This important initiative will help even more people, wherever they live in the UK, access their bank accounts at our branches.”


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