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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 BankBarclays 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.



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At 13:24 on 17th August 2017, Dan commented:
As the ariticle says, the only way forward for town centres like Neston is if the government as the "owner" of Post Office Ltd invests in the company and greatly improves Post Office services so they can operate truly as a bank.

The idea of providing joint facilities for commercial banks is simply not going to happen. The competition between banking brands and the whole logistics of premises mean its not going to be viable on a national scale.MP's and Councillors would be best focusing their influence on improving the post office services, as that may also help the post office survive on our high streets in a competitive postal market.
At 20:11 on 17th August 2017, Poacher commented:
Hmm.. All is not lost, at least the bank leaving Neston will provide an oppertunity for another charity shop...
At 02:17 on 22nd August 2017, Dan commented:
I'm no fan of the daily Mail bit I notice today (22nd August) they are carrying the headline that Banks are abandoning the high street with 10 closing each day

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