Banks and Post Office set out action plan to raise awareness of banking services

Source: UK FInance

A comprehensive Action Plan is launched today by the finance industry and the Post Office to raise awareness of banking services available at Post Office branches amongst local communities with lower bank branch coverage.

The five-point plan will promote awareness of the day-to-day banking services, including paying in and withdrawing cash, that bank and building society customers can access at 11,500 Post Office branches across the UK. It will deliver a series of co-ordinated activities including targeted media campaigns, local community events and enhanced support for vulnerable customers.

The plan has been developed by the finance industry and the Post Office working with HM Treasury, following a request from the Economic Secretary to raise awareness of the banking services available at Post Offices.

Many bank customers are already visiting Post Office branches to access their business and personal accounts, with usage increasing; however there is still limited awareness in local communities of the availability of these vital services.

Customers who will benefit most from the availability of the service, particularly those living in rural or urban areas with less bank branch coverage, are the primary focus of the plan, which will:
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: “Britain is changing the way it banks, but as more and more people move online, it’s crucial that face-to-face everyday banking services are available. So I am pleased that the banking industry and Post Office are taking action to raise awareness of this valuable service.

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

Stephen Jones, Chief Executive of UK Finance, said: “Helping people access banking is vitally important. Customers can access day-to-day banking services at thousands of Post Office branches. Our five-point plan announced today will increase awareness of this service, particularly in areas with less bank branch coverage.”

Paula Vennells, Group Chief Executive of Post Office Limited, said: “The Post Office is committed to ensuring that all our customers have easy access to cash and we are delighted to be working with UK Finance to raise awareness of the vital everyday banking services available at our 11,500 branches. Almost 93 per cent of people live within a mile of their local post office, and 99.7 per cent live within three miles, and this important initiative will help even more people, wherever they live in the UK, access their bank accounts at our branches.”

Andrew Griffiths, Business Minister, said: “With Government support, the Post Office is continuing to modernise and bring more benefits to millions of customers and small businesses across the UK. The Government has invested £2 billion in the Post Office since 2010 and this latest joint initiative promotes the range of important services available at thousands of local Post Offices up and down the country.”
The actions set out in the plan will begin from third quarter 2018.

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