Thursday, 11 April 2013

Post Office current account

BBC is reporting that the Post Office will provide a current account at selected branches within the next few weeks, with a view to a wide roll-out next year. It is to be produced in conjunction with long-term partner, Bank of Ireland.

It will be interesting to see what will be its relationship with the existing basic Post Office Card Account run by JP Morgan. This was first set up by the last Labour government when it was realised that a significant number of  clients of the New Tax Credits system neither had a bank account nor intended to open one. It was clearly intended as a temporary measure, but pressure resulted in its continuation.

As implied by the BBC report, this is yet another reversal of Thatcherism. Mrs Thatcher forced the sale of Girobank, which had been intended to mirror state-run Giro systems on the continent and operated through post offices. Girobank went to Alliance & Leicester Bank (formerly a building society), which finally wound it up in 2003. (Alliance & Leicester was taken over by Santander after the credit crunch in 2008.)

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