May 19, 2019

Post Office past ‘tipping point’ as reinvention fails

A greater focus on banking-style services was supposed to be part of the latest reinvention of the Post Office, which traces its origin to the reigns of kings Charles I and II, pioneered innovations such as stamps and postmarks, and ran Britain's telecoms service for much of the 20th century. As a result, the Post Office essentially became a retail business: selling stamps and parcel delivery on behalf of the Royal Mail, as well as broadband access and, crucially, financial services. An agreement with all the big UK banks in 2017 to offer expanded everyday services at post office counters aimed to boost branch visits while meeting a growing social need. In a statement, Al Cameron, interim chief executive, said the Post Office had recently increased payments for banking services and was conducting a full review of postmaster pay. "Our particular focus is to make running a Post Office easier and more profitable for postmasters so they can continue to deliver for customers and provide the wider community support that people so much trust and value," Mr Cameron said.

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