Banking services, cash and ATMs continue to be highly reported topics in the news - and this week is no different.
As the banking infrastructure of the UK continues to change, the Treasury Select Committee has published a report into consumers’ access into financial services.
The report which published on Monday has recognised the importance of banking services provided at Post Office and compared services to those available in bank branches. The report urges banks to consider local hubs to ensure the vulnerable in our society can access full range of services.
Here is what Martin Kearsley, Banking Services Director at the Post Office commented:
“We are proud of the everyday banking services we offer, and are always seeking to improve, so will look hard at this important report and consider where we can take action to give customers the best possible service.
“Our everyday banking services are offered through our extensive and trusted network of 11,500 branches: thousands are open from early in the morning and late into the evening, and more than 4,000 are open seven days a week too. This means we can support communities across the UK with convenient access to cash and deposits, whether they still have bank branches to visit or are struggling with no access to a bank at all; indeed, many Post Offices remain in towns and villages which no longer have banks
“As one of the UKs largest cash handling networks people have relied on us for decades to undertake financial transactions, such as bill payments, pension and benefit cash withdrawals and savings deposits, so our people are fully trained and experienced in handling these transactions. We have never tried to be a like-for-like replacement for bank branches, our role is to support communities with their daily access to cash needs, and we are there for 99 per cent of personal banking customers and 95 per cent of business banking customers. We ensure customers can access their usual high street bank account, to get cash out, check their balance, and deposit cash and cheques. These everyday services are vital, especially to rural or remote communities, and to small businesses for making deposits. While we already carry out around half a million banking transaction every day, we know there is more we can do to raise awareness of the services we offer, and we continue to work with UK Finance and the UK’s banks so that customers know how Post Offices can support them with their everyday banking needs.”
The Press and Journal reported that Gordon Tory MP Colin Clark, who sits on the Treasury Committee, said:
“This report makes clear that if the Post Office is to provide these services on behalf of the banks, then they should pick up the tab.
“The UK taxpayer should not be expected to subsidise banks that have chosen to close branches.
“I think the public will rightly feel that is totally unfair, given they had to bail out the banks following the 2008 financial crash.
“Further, Post Offices should not be seen as a replacement for banks that have shut their doors.
“They do not have the trained, specialist staff that the banks have.
“The report also endorses the idea of local banking hubs where the last bank in town has been lost.
“Again, the local Post Office could be a location for that – but the banks have to pay for it – not the hard-working British taxpayer.”
We will continue to update postmasters about changes and improvements to our banking services.