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Banking crisis gives government the excuse it needs to save post offices

October 16, 2008 9:38 AM

With the government preparing to take a further stake in the banking system in response to the growing financial crisis, Shadow DEFRA Secretary Tim Farron MP is calling on the government to use the situation to protect our under threat post office network.

As the decision over the future of the Post Office Card Account draws near, there are fears that if the Post Office loses the contract it could spell the end for many local post offices.

Tim has spoken to post masters in his constituency and has learnt that even some of the busiest branches may go bust if the POCA is taken away. In one busy post office in the Lake District, the post master predicted that they would lose an estimated 8,000 transactions a year if they lost the account.

Mr Farron has tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons urging the Treasury to instruct one of the newly nationalised banks to run the card account in partnership with Post Office Ltd. Mr Farron first raised this solution earlier this year at the time that Northern Rock was first nationalised

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"The reality is that without the customers who use the Post Office for the card account, many branches will be forced to close.

"The financial crisis could unexpectedly have left us with an opportunity to save our vital local post offices -the government must grasp that opportunity.

"We now have state owned banks, it is surely within the power of the Treasury to instruct one of them to run the POCA in partnership with Post Office Ltd and give the tax payer something back for their money."