Post Office announces continued lifeline for businesses with new banking agreement
The Post Office has today announced that it has secured the continuation of an agreement to handle bank account cash deposits and withdrawals for a further three years – ensuring a continued lifeline for the small businesses nationwide that rely on cash.
The announcement follows months of negotiation amid a backdrop of bank branch closures and concerns from groups representing businesses, older people and vulnerable members of society about their ability to access, spend and deposit cash.
Under the new agreement, known as ‘Banking Framework 3’, customers of 30 bank and building society brands will continue to be able to use Post Offices to withdraw and deposit cash in their accounts. They can also deposit cheques and make balance queries.
The extension of the agreement sees the scheme continue until 31 December 2025.
Post Office data shows Post Offices have become even more important in handling cash as banks have closed branches. In 2020, Postmasters handled almost 140 million cash transactions on behalf of the banks and building societies customers. In 2021, it was almost 150 million cash transactions.
Since 1 January 2020 – when the current agreement came into effect – until 31 December 2021, business and personal customers have deposited over £46 billion and withdrawn over £16 billion in cash in total. In 2022, the third and final year of the present agreement, Post Office predicts it will handle over £3 billion in cash every month.
Nick Read, current Chief Executive Officer at the Post Office, said: “This agreement provides a continued lifeline to the millions of people and small businesses that rely on cash nationwide. It highlights the unique and vital role that the country’s Post Offices play in local communities and economies. While banks are cutting their branch networks, Post Offices are seeing more and more deposits and withdrawals with Postmasters keeping their branches open long hours and helping to draw people to our High Streets.
“I’m pleased that over 30 banks have signed up to the ‘Banking Framework’ and thank them for their continued commitment to the Post Office. Millions will rely on cash for many years to come. It’s vital that the much-heralded Government legislation to protect access to cash is now brought forward swiftly. In the meantime, we are excited to support the industry in the delivery of BankHubs whilst continuing to work closely with the banks to enable their customers to continue to withdraw and deposit their cash at our branches over the long term.”
John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, added: “The Government recognises that physical access to banking continues to play an important role in many people’s lives. That’s why I am pleased to see that 30 banks, building societies and credit unions have again signed up to the Post Office Banking Framework Agreement. The Post Office, with its presence in local communities across the UK, plays an important role in the levelling-up agenda and this agreement will continue to allow 95% of business and 99% of personal banking customers to carry out their everyday banking, including withdrawing and depositing cash, at 11,500 Post Office branches in the UK”