National Business Organisation Says Post Office is Not Enough After High Street Bank Closures
|Published: 17th August 2017 11:17|
With bank branches closing in towns all over the UK, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has spoken out, saying Post Office services are insufficient to fill the gap.
From Autumn this year, Neston will no longer have any banks in its town centre, with the withdrawal of Barclays on October 20th (as announced on AboutMyArea in July).
Barclays Bank in Neston, due to close in October 2017.
Now, the FSB, which supports its members with advice and information as well as lobbying Government on relevant issues, has responded to the decimation of banking services for small businesses in communities nationwide.
Phil McCabe, Development Manager, for FSB Merseyside, West Cheshire and Wigan, said: "At a time of unprecedented uncertainty, the last thing small businesses need is loss of in-person bank branch support. When times are tough, there's no replacement for help from a known and trusted bank branch contact.
"Alternative Post Office services are simply not up to scratch - cash and cheque clearing facilities are limited and currency exchange services are rarely offered. We need to see substantial improvement and standardisation of the Post Office's offering if it's to be considered a viable replacement for bank branches.
"Our members routinely deal with customers that want to pay in cash. Once a town loses a bank branch it hurts footfall, particularly in tourist hotspots, and means business owners have to spend time travelling out of town to use banking services. Card payment terminals can go some way to mitigating these impacts but still carry multiple transaction costs which firms are forced to absorb."
The statement by FSB comes in the wake of comments made by local MP Justin Madders and Cheshire West Councillor Louise Gittins on AboutMyArea, here. They, and other local bodies including Neston & District Chamber of Trade, have called for the major banks to consider providing joint facilities in order to protect the interests of both residents and business owners.