Magazine article Public Finance

Ministers Back 'PO Bank' but Will Not Provide Funds

Magazine article Public Finance

Ministers Back 'PO Bank' but Will Not Provide Funds

Article excerpt

The government has lent its support to the idea of a Post Office 'people's bank' - but does not want to fund its development.

The initiative also won support from the Conservatives, despite the fact that the party sold off the

Post Office's Girobank in 1990, when it was in government. Post Office minister Pat McFadden told a campaign launch meeting that banking services had the 'potential to be a really important part of post offices' work in the years to come'.

At the meeting, held in Parliament on March 17, McFadden told a coalition of unions, small businesses and pressure groups: 'Post Office management are very firmly focused on this and I think it could be a significant part of attracting more people to come and use the post office.'

The Post Bank coalition, led by the Communications Workers Union, believes the initiative could help sustain the post office network in future and provide services to up to 3 million people who are not served by high- street banks.

But the minister sidestepped the coalitions call for the government to fund the initiative, possibly through the issue of local bonds. …

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