Post Office secures deal with major high street banks that will ensure customers can continue to access banking services at its 11,500 branches
The Post Office has secured a deal with the major high street banks that will ensure customers can continue to access banking services at its 11,500 branches.
The agreement means that customers of all the big banks – including small businesses – will be able to use the Post Office to do basic banking.
This will include cash withdrawals and deposits as well as depositing cheques and making balance enquiries. The deal, known as ‘banking framework 3’, will kick in at the start of next year and then remain in force for three years.
A move in the right direction: The agreement means that customers of all the big banks – including small businesses – will be able to use the Post Office to do basic banking
It has been struck with 30 bank and building society brands and includes Barclays.
In autumn 2019, Barclays attracted widespread criticism when it said it would stop its customers using the Post Office network to access cash from the start of 2020. But in response to a fierce customer backlash, it soon did a swift and embarrassing U-turn.
The Post Office announcement represents a victory for The Mail on Sunday’s Keep Our Cash Campaign.
We have argued passionately for continued nationwide access to cash against a backdrop of bank branch closures and the axeing of uneconomic free-to-use cash machines.
Access to cash is vital for the elderly, many of whom baulk at the idea of online banking, while many small retailers need to deposit cash takings on a regular basis.
On Friday, Nick Read, chief executive of the Post Office, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘This agreement provides a continued lifeline to the millions of people and small businesses that rely on cash nationwide.’ In a separate development on access to cash, Lady Margaret Bloom – a former economist – has been appointed to oversee the policing of future bank branch and ATM closures.
Under an agreement reached with the banks last month, cash machine operator Link will be able to look at communities that have been told their last bank branch – or ATM – is being axed.
It will then assess whether alternative banking services should be put in place.