Postmaster welcomes postal changes

AN East Anglian postmaster has welcomed news of sweeping changes to the post office network, which will see branches start to offer personal loans and credit cards.

AN East Anglian postmaster has welcomed news of sweeping changes to the post office network, which will see branches start to offer personal loans and credit cards.

From October unsecured loans will be offered across the country, in direct competition with banks and supermarkets.

Customers will be able to take out a post office credit card, open a savings account or buy motor and life insurance.

There will also be an increase in the number of branches selling euros and dollars, while opening hours are set to be extended to evenings and Sundays.


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Paul Marks, postmaster at Great Finborough post office, near Stowmarket, said he thought the majority of the plans were good news for the network – but refused to comment on the extended opening hours.

He added: "I am pleased to hear that the post office will be offering additional services and products over the counter, which we hope will be competitive and available to all our customers.

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"I don't think the bureau de change idea will really affect many people, because I think most are happy with the way it is now, but generally I welcome this news.

"All new products are very welcome because they bring in additional customers and additional business – they give people another reason to come into their local branch."

The changes, which have been branded as 'sweeping commercialisation', are aimed at generating more income and cutting the Royal Mail's losses, which are currently running at £750,000 a day.

Royal Mail chairman Allan Leighton announced the news yesterdayduring a speech to the annual conference of the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters in Scarborough.

He said: "We are determined to put our post office branches on a better financial footing by giving customers the products they want and letting sub-postmasters get on with the job of running their branches to suit their customers.

"Post office branches will offer additional financial services in the way that supermarkets currently do – but they will be more accessible, offered with a more personal touch and backed with a real community brand."

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