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Nicky Morgan wants banks to pay for better services at post offices

Tory MP Nicky Morgan wants to force banks to pay for better services at post offices to help stem the tide of rural branch closures

  • MPs said banks should be forced to pay for better services at post offices
  • Nicky Morgan  slammed the Government for failing to hold banks to account after they left millions of rural customers without some basic banking services 
  • The Treasury committee said banks must pay for post offices to act as proxy branches, funding staff training and better security 

Banks should be forced to pay for better services at post offices after years of branch closures, a group of influential MPs said today.

Nicky Morgan, chairman of the Treasury committee, slammed the Government for failing to hold banks to account after they left millions of rural customers without some basic banking services. The committee said banks must pay for post offices to act as proxy branches, funding staff training and better security.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, 3,500 bank branches have closed, with the Post Office taking up the strain and offering simple cash and cheque services.

Banks should be forced to pay for better services at post offices after years of branch closures, a group of influential MPs said today

The Mail is campaigning to save rural post offices and the services they offer to remote communities. It is calling for banks to pay their way for the work Britain’s 11,500 post offices carry out on their behalf – but the Government has repeatedly refused to intervene.

Nicky Morgan, chairman of the Treasury committee, slammed the Government for failing to hold banks to account

Mrs Morgan said: ‘It is disappointing that the Government refuses to ensure that small towns and rural areas aren’t left without high street banking services. The Post Office is not able to provide some key banking services, such as direct debits, even though commercial banks promised customers they could use post offices when they shut down branches.

‘The Government would not be intervening in the commercial decisions of banks by requiring them to fund fully functioning banking hubs – it would be holding them to their own promises.’

The big five banks have raked in hundreds of millions in profit from closures. The pitiful fees they pay to post offices has thrown the whole network into crisis, postmasters add.

But the Government, which is the sole owner of the Post Office, said: ‘There are commercial matters for the banks and the Post Office to consider what, if any, further banking services might be feasible.’

The Post Office said: ‘Our partnership with the UK’s major banks ensures their customers have convenient and secure access to everyday banking services.’

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