New research shows Post Offices deliver lifeline to struggling high streets, providing an extra £1.1bn revenue to other businesses

Press releases   •   Oct 21, 2020 09:16 BST

  • New research carried out by Public First finds visits to the Post Office help drive another 400 million visitors to other shops, restaurants and local businesses.
  • 33% of respondents said that on their last trip to the Post Office they had stopped at another shop, cafe, pub or restaurant, driving an estimated £1.1 billion in additional revenue.
  • 43% of small businesses say they would not be able to continue functioning without the Post Office.
  • Post Office branches designated an essential retailer and remain open and serving local communities throughout any Covid-19 restrictions.

New research has revealed how important having a Post Office is to the survival of the UK’s High Streets.

The Public First research, commissioned by the Post Office, found that 33% of respondents said that on their last trip to the Post Office they had stopped at another shop, café, pub or restaurant. This resulted in an additional 400 million visitors to these local businesses, generating £1.1 billion in additional revenue.

The research showed that 82 per cent of the public see their local Post Office as an essential service, with young people valuing it almost as much as older people. Summing up just how important the local Post Office is, it came out as the top choice when respondents were asked what would make up their ideal High Street – far ahead of stalwarts like a supermarket or a GP’s surgery

Small businesses also rely on their Post Office to keep their businesses functioning – with 43% of small businesses saying they would not survive without a local Post Office.

There are 11,500 branches across the UK with around 4,000 open seven days a week. ‘Bedroom’ businesses use their branch to drop off parcels to fulfil their customer orders and independent retailers depend on a branch to deposit a day’s takings. The Post Office has more branches than all the banks and building societies combined.

Nick Read, Chief Executive at the Post Office, said:

“Local post offices are a lifeline for communities across the UK as they are the place to go to do everyday banking or send parcels. We are an essential retailer and will remain open wherever possible during these recently introduced lockdown restrictions. The footfall we generate could make a big difference to sustaining high streets over the long term and helping small businesses start and grow, contributing to economic recovery across the UK.”

Post Office enables small businesses to operate

The research found that:

  • 60% of small businesses that Public First spoke to agreed that the Post Office is important to their business, and 72% that the Post Office is particularly important for small businesses.
    • When small businesses were asked how long they would be able to function without the Post Office, 43% said they would only be able to keep going for a few months at most; and 32% only a few weeks.To put that into context, that is the equivalent to a fifth (22%) of the entire UK economy, or a quarter (26%) of jobs.
  • 83% of small businesses agreed that the Post Office had been important to their business during the first lockdown period earlier this year.

Post Office branches remain open whilst further lockdown measures introduced

Post Offices are deemed an essential retailer by the UK Government. Branches will remain open throughout any lockdown measures. Customers are required to wear a face mask inside any branch, unless exempt, and practice safe social distancing.

When asked about the first lockdown period:

  • 39% of respondents said they had gone to the Post Office since lockdown began - significantly higher than the proportion that gone to work (29%) or their bank (21%).
  • 22% of respondents said that they had continued to visit the Post Office regularly, or at least once a month on average.

Post Office’s own Cash Tracker data showed that September was the highest month for personal cash deposits all year with over £1 billion deposited at branches by personal customers.

The research can be seen by clicking this link

Ends

As part of the research for this report, Public First ran two new extensive polls of consumers and small businesses:

  • Consumer Poll. An in-depth nationally representative poll of 2,011 adults in Britain, weighted by interlocking age and gender, region and social grade. The fieldwork for this poll was completed between 24th August to 30th August 2020.
  • Small Businesses. An in-depth poll of 1,004 businesses with fewer than 250 employees, weighted by business size, sector and region. The fieldwork for this poll was completed between 26th and 28th August 2020.

About Post Office:

  • With 11,500 branches, the Post Office is among the larger retail networks in the UK.
  • 98% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.
  • The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.
  • We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches, over 2,000 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.
  • We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.
  • Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information; visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities; visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk

New research has revealed how important having a Post Office is to the survival of the UK’s High Streets.

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Cash deposits at Post Office return to pre-Covid levels and top £2 Billion – September cash deposits higher than any month so far in 2020

Press releases   •   Oct 13, 2020 07:00 BST

  • Value of cash deposits in September higher than any month so far this year.
  • Cash deposits by business and personal customers totalled £2 billion in September, up 7.7% on September 2019.
  • First time since February, before lockdown, that cash deposits by business and personal customers exceeds equivalent month in 2019.
  • Personal cash withdrawals amount to £591 million, up 7.1% on August. Figure is down 2.6% compared to same month last year, which is the smallest year on year gap since lockdown in April.
  • Overall, cash deposits and withdrawals by business and personal customers amounted to over £2.6 billion in September. Up 11.3% on August (£2.35 billion) and 9.7% on July (£2.4 billion)

Cash deposits by business and personal customers at Post Office branches in September were up 7.7% on same month last year. Branches saw the highest amount of deposits in a single month (£2 billion) and this was the first time since February, before lockdown, that cash deposits exceeded the equivalent month in 2019.

Overall, cash deposits and withdrawals by business and personal customers amounted to over £2.6 billion in September, up 11.3% on August (£2.35 billion). Data is taken from the third Post Office Cash Tracker showing the billions of pounds deposited and withdrawn each month at its 11,500 branch locations.

Post Office Cash tracker data – September 2020

Cash deposits value (business & personal) MOM% YOY% Cash withdrawals value (business & personal) MOM% YOY% Total cash deposits & withdrawal value for September 2020
UK[1] £2.0bn +12.7% +7.7% £615m +7.2% -2.2% £2.615 bn
England £1.63bn +13.6% +11.6% £485m +8.4% -3.1% £2.115bn
Scotland £154m +6.7% -15.3% £47m +0.5% +1.3% £201m
Wales £108m +11.7% +3.0% £51m +4.6% -1.9% £159m
Northern Ireland £112m +9.3% -1.3% £31m +3.6% +5.4% £143m

Nick Read, Chief Executive at the Post Office, said:

“Our data shows that cash deposits are exceeding what we saw at the start of this year, as well as the amount that was deposited at the same point last year, well before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. We’ll be monitoring closely what impact the recently introduced lockdown measures have on small businesses’ ability to stay open and deposit their takings at our branches. They will continue to be the place where cash can be quickly and locally deposited helping to give small business owners more time to keep serving their customers.”

Business customers

Cash deposits specifically by business customers amounted to £965 million showing how much small businesses and independent retailers continue to rely on cash to operate. The figure for business cash deposits in September 2020 was the highest amount since February 2020 when £890 million was deposited at Post Office branches. Cash deposits by businesses were up 16.2% when compared to last month.

Personal customers

The value of cash deposits by personal customers remains high, and greatly exceeds pre-Covid-19 levels. In September, over £1 billion was deposited in cash at Post Office counters. September was the first month this year were personal cash deposits exceeded a billion pounds in a single month. In terms of cash withdrawals by personal customers, £591 million was withdrawn at the Post Office’s 11,500 counters. This is up 7% compared with last month. Whilst withdrawals have yet to exceed the equivalent month the previous year, September’s gap was the smallest all year with the amount withdrawn down 2.6% compared with September 2019.

Personal cash deposits

Personal cash withdrawals

Commenting on September’s data, Martin Kearsley, Director of Banking at Post Office, said:

“It’s encouraging to see the highest amount of money deposited at our branches all year. Cash deposits by personal customers recovered quickly after the first UK-wide lockdown and now far exceed what we saw even at the start of the year. We are encouraged to see Business deposits now recovering strongly too and continue to support all local businesses with their cash needs. Cash withdrawals are making a steady recovery which signifies growing consumer confidence which in turn helps small businesses and local high streets as we know where cash is taken out locally it tends to be spent locally too.”

For further data and analysis, visit www.corporate.postoffice.co.uk/cashtracker

Ends

About Post Office Cash Tracker and access to cash

Data included in this press release reflects cash services used under the Banking Framework. Over 30 banks and building societies are part of the Banking Framework which enables their customers to withdraw or deposit cash at any of the Post Office’s 11,500 branches. The figures exclude Post Office Card Account withdrawals.

Post Office is supporting the Community Access to Cash Pilots initiative led by Natalie Ceeney, Chair of the Access to Cash Review. Pilots will run in nine local communities to trial how to improve their access to cash. There will be three new local ‘banking hubs’ in dedicated retail spaces on the high street created, which combine the cash-transaction facilities of a Post Office with access to community banking services offered by retail banks. Post Office is also refurbishing branches or providing pop up services in the remaining areas.

[1]Figures for cash deposits value and cash withdrawals value by country have been rounded to the nearest million. This is why value figures per country will not add up exactly to the total for the UK. 

About Post Office:

  • With 11,500 branches, the Post Office is among the larger retail networks in the UK.
  • 98% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.
  • The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.
  • We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches, over 2,000 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.
  • We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.
  • Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information; visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities; visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk

Cash deposits by business and personal customers at Post Office branches in September were up 7.7% on same month last year. Branches saw the highest amount of deposits in a single month (£2 billion) and this was the first time since February, before lockdown, that cash deposits exceeded the equivalent month in 2019.

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Post Office announces next steps in embedding diversity as it celebrates Black History Month

Press releases   •   Oct 07, 2020 09:49 BST

  • Post Office announces next steps in diversity agenda, embedding principles and recommendations of the McGregor-Smith review
  • Celebrating black colleagues now and through Post Office history over the course of Black History Month

As the business joins in celebrations around Black History Month, Post Office is announcing the next steps in making sure its future is an inclusive one as well as reflecting on the history of black colleagues in the business.

In the culmination of months of work from the Post Office Ethnic Minorities group and senior leadership, the business today announces a series of actions it will take to make the Post Office a better place to work for black, ethnic minority and all colleagues:

Gather and monitor data about ethnic diversity at the Post Office and use this data to measure the success of diversity initiatives

Set diversity targets, objectives and KPIs for the senior leadership team

Raise awareness of BAME issues in the business through training, discussions and by celebrating our diverse workforce

Continue to improve recruitment processes by actively identifying and eliminating unconscious bias

Change our processes to encourage diversity through ensuring fairness in reward and recognition and being open about our career pathways

Post Office looks back on its history working with black colleagues including Sam King, former Mayor of Southwark and long-serving Post Office member of staff who highlighted the difficulty of getting a job with the organisation as a black person in the 1950s – lessons which are still important in 2020.

The Black Cultural Archives host a rich selection of material on the history of black colleagues in the Post Office and how the postal service has impacted the lives of black people in the UK, particularly members of the Windrush generation, leaving home, friends and family for a new country but keeping in touch through the mail network.

Nick Read, Chief Executive at the Post Office, said:

“Black and minority ethnic colleagues have always played an important role in the Post Office and I’m determined that they play a bigger role in our future. That’s why I am committing to the five recommendations of our Post Office Ethnic Minorities Network, drawing from the McGregor-Smith report.

“Seventy years ago Post Office worker Sam King highlighted the issues black people were facing in the workplace and in wider society and this year’s Black Lives Matter protests show how the problems he faced are still affecting people today.”

Andrew Lewis, Chair of the Post Office Ethnic Minorities network, said:

“I’m pleased to see Post Office recognise Black History Month and rightly commit to a broad range of actions to recognise the value black colleagues bring to the business and continue our improvements on the diversity agenda.

“Post Office is relied on by people in every community in the UK and the black community is no different. That’s why it’s so important that we celebrate the contribution black people have made to the UK and the contribution we continue to make to Post Office as a business.”

About Post Office:

  • With 11,500 branches, the Post Office is among the larger retail networks in the UK.
  • 98% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.
  • The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.
  • We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches, over 2,000 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.
  • We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.
  • Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information; visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities; visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk

Post Office announces next steps in diversity agenda and celebrates black colleagues now and through Post Office history over the course of Black History Month

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​Holidaymakers seeking islands in the sun for an autumn sunshine break will find the garden paradise of Madeira best value

Press releases   •   Oct 03, 2020 00:10 BST

Post Office statement on Postmasters’ appeals of historical convictions

Press releases   •   Oct 02, 2020 12:25 BST

The Post Office has today formally responded to the Court of Appeal and Southwark Crown Court regarding historical convictions of former postmasters between 2001 and 2013 referred by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) earlier this year. It is not opposing the majority of appeals in which it acted as prosecutor.

The CCRC referred for appeal a total of 47 cases of former postmasters prosecuted by Post Office.

The Board of the Post Office has carefully considered each case referred by the CCRC.

Having considered the CCRC’s Statement of Reasons, the findings made in the Post Office Group Litigation and material reviewed as part of its extensive disclosure exercise, Post Office is not opposing 44 of the appeals in which it acted as prosecutor.

Tim Parker, Chairman of the Post Office, said:

“I am sincerely sorry on behalf of the Post Office for historical failings which seriously affected some postmasters. Post Office is resetting its relationship with postmasters with reforms that prevent such past events ever happening again.”

Post Office wishes to ensure that allpostmasters entitled to claim civil compensation because of their convictions being overturned are recompensed as quickly as possible. Therefore, we are considering the best process for doing that. Further details will be published in due course.

In addition to full co-operation with the Criminal Cases Review Commission’s review, the Post Office has set up an extensive disclosure exercise, by external criminal law specialists, to identify material which might affect the safety of any relevant historical prosecutions.

This exercise covers Post Office’s conduct as prosecutor between 1999 and 2013 and is examining among other things, issues such as Post Office’s knowledge of, and attitude towards the reliability of Horizon, the nature of postmasters’ contracts, and Post Office’s approach to all cases prosecuted during that period which relied on Horizon.

This work is expected to be completed within the next few months and Post Office will update the court and the appellants on the results.

Fundamental Reform

Since his appointment last year the Chief Executive of the Post Office, Nick Read, has undertaken a wholesale reform of the organisation. Nick Read said: 

“We are forging a new relationship with postmasters helping them to build thriving Post Office businesses for customers and communities throughout the UK. The difficult lessons of the past are being learnt, and we are making fundamental changes to our culture, practices and operating procedures.”

To help deliver the reset of Post Office’s relationship with postmasters, the Post Office appointed a new Director, Declan Salter, in August. Mr Salter reports to Tim Parker and Nick Read with responsibilities including implementing claims schemes to provide redress for postmasters affected by historical events and a programme of scrutinising operational measures for any further improvement. Declan Salter said: 

“We are addressing the past in a fair and transparent way, ensuring there is redress for postmasters and making significant operational improvements that put postmasters at the heart of the Post Office.”

Actions already taken by the Post Office include:

  • Agreement to appoint a current postmaster as Non-Executive Director to the Post Office Board to influence Post Office strategy and the implementation of programmes affecting postmasters.
  • Establishing claims schemes to provide redress for former and current postmasters who experienced unexplained shortfalls in the past. The Historical Shortfall Scheme began in May 2020 and a new scheme is launched today to provide redress for postmasters affected by past weaknesses in our stamps stock processes.
  • Undertaking a programme of improvements to overhaul culture, practices and operating procedures throughout every part of the Post Office to forge an open and transparent relationship with our postmasters. Nearly 100 area managers now provide personalised, individual support to postmasters.
  • Comprehensive improvements made from initial recruitment and training through to daily transaction accounting, including design changes made to transactions on Horizon, based on postmaster feedback.
  • Setting out for every postmaster the detailed responsibilities and commitments which support them to build thriving businesses, serving the UK’s communities.
  • Increasing postmaster remuneration by £20 million a year on top of the £17 million increases secured for banking services through our new framework with the high street banks. 

Notes to editors

Referrals to appeal courts

Most of the referrals by the CCRC are to the Court of Appeal because they relate to convictions in the Crown Court. Those few cases which followed convictions in the Magistrates’ Court must be appealed to the Crown Court.

There are six separate appeals referred to Southwark Crown Court relating to convictions in Magistrates’ Courts. An appeal from a Magistrates’ Court is a re-trial rather than a review of the original proceedings. Post Office is not opposing any of these appeals so the appellant convictions will be quashed. This process does not require the court to issue a written judgment and is likely to occur ahead of any judgment from the Court of Appeal.

Post Office no longer undertakes any private prosecutions. Cases related to Horizon effectively ceased in 2013, although two cases featuring Horizon evidence were prosecuted in 2015.

Group Civil Litigation

Group civil litigation between Post Office and 555 mainly former postmasters concluded following successful mediation and agreed settlement in December 2019. A joint press statement was issued on 11 December 2019 by both parties involved in the litigation. The issues in the litigation were complex and involved contractual, operational and technical matters spanning around two decades. 

About Post Office:

  • With 11,500 branches, the Post Office is among the larger retail networks in the UK.
  • 98% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.
  • The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.
  • We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches, over 2,000 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.
  • We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.
  • Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information; visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities; visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk

Read more »

Northern towns on track to turnaround half a decade of underperformance with signs of local town-led recovery as people work where they live

Press releases   •   Sep 25, 2020 07:00 BST

  • New analysis of proprietary Post Office data reveals that struggling towns in the north of England are experiencing strong growth following the first lockdown.
  • Towns like Huddersfield and Wakefield outside Leeds, and Mansfield on the edge of Nottingham have had the largest boost in local economic activity as citizens work where they live in response to Covid-19.
  • In some cases, the rebound in economic activity from May to July has reversed the contraction experienced during February to April this year. However, some of the economic indicators remain fragile.
  • The data suggests commuter towns in the shadows of more affluent cities may have a unique chance to narrow the gap with their neighbours.

Under-performing towns are set for a regional revival in response to Covid-19, according to a new analysis of Post Office data by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) released today. It identifies encouraging signs of economic growth in towns that have been historically left behind and which may be benefitting from a re-purposing of place as a consequence of the pandemic.

The report, Turnaround Towns, analysed 10 towns in northern England with lower than average growth over the past five years and four metrics from the Post Office which act as a reliable proxy for local economic activity.

Key findings:

  • Bedroom businesses and marketplace selling is on the up as a result of the pandemic: Nine of the 10 places analysed saw increases in usage of the Post Office’s Drop & Go service during May to July, a reliable proxy for more individual entrepreneurial pursuits like buying and selling on marketplace platforms, of up to 38% compared to the preceding three-month period. Almost half the towns also saw increases in Drop & Go during February-April, suggesting that being able to sell goods online was a factor in maintaining income for many during the height of lockdown.
  • Home shopper returns suggest increased footfall on local high streets: The return of items bought online to Post Office branches soared in all towns across May to July by as much as 62%. That contrasts to an average fall of a third in returns during lockdown. Trips to return items in lunch breaks or around working hours appear to be far more likely to be happening locally, bringing with them associated benefits for local businesses as more people frequent local high streets.
  • Business deposits are returning, slowly: Takings from small businesses increased across May to July in seven of the 10 towns by up to 12%. This is encouraging but is not yet making up for an average reduction in deposits of 12% across lockdown. There are outliers. Cash deposits in Sunderland numbered 64,000 in May-July 2020, exceeding pre-lockdown figures in November 2019- January 2020 of 62,000 – a vibrant return for SME activity in the area.
  • Many are still using cash: Cash withdrawals grew by up to 11% across May to July in six of the towns analysed, and in three towns these increases reversed declines in cash withdrawals experienced in the previous three months. Huddersfield in particular saw the total value of cash withdrawals rise from £2.66 million in the three months to January 2020 to £2.74 million in the three months July 2020, exceeding pre-lockdown levels. The data highlights that cash is being taken out more often more locally and this implies an increase in local spending.

A recovery ranking based on an aggregation of these metrics estimates that Mansfield, Wakefield and Huddersfield have experienced the largest boost since the spring lockdown, achieving scores of 25-27%. If the performance on the recovery ranking can be translated into equivalently higher Gross Value Added (GVA) output, this would represent a transformation in these towns’ fortunes. Given their proximity to the cities of Nottingham and Leeds respectively, the data suggests changes in how we live and work post pandemic could be a significant driver of the revival that could see them emerge economically stronger than before.

Post Office Chief Executive Nick Read said: “Many towns have long been in the economic shadow of nearby cities so it is encouraging to see strong signs of growth and revival as more people work where they live. Post Office will play its part helping people to withdraw and deposit cash locally to them as well as send parcels to anywhere in the world.”

Jeevan Singh Skayee, Postmaster for Moldgreen Post Office, Huddersfield, said: “The past few weeks have felt as busy as Christmas as more and more local customers are coming to use our services. Being able to withdraw cash either at our ATM or over the counter has been incredibly popular. We have always had a more elderly customer base given we’re about 1.5 miles from the centre of Huddersfield but increasingly younger customers have been popping in. It has been nice to get to know more of the local community as they drop off their parcels or take out some cash.”

Cebr Managing Economist Josie Dent said: “We did not expect to see such a strong recovery in towns that have traditionally struggled. For many of these towns to have cancelled out the depth of the contraction they faced in lockdown is extraordinary. Policymakers should take note to nurture these green shoots of the recovery going into what will no-doubt be a challenging autumn.”

The Post Office and Cebr have put forward a set of recommendations for policymakers as part of the report:

  • Build high streets for local need: Despite people spending more time living and working in their local area, research by Public First for the Post Office in late April revealed that nearly a third of the population (32%) felt their local area was getting worse rather than better. Drivers of this include closure of high street shops (60%) and closure of services like banks and Post Offices (38%), highlighting a clear correlation between amenity closures and local dissatisfaction. To sustain regional recovery, policymakers must have a better understanding of the minimum amenities required for a high street to be a destination, from pharmacies to financial services.
  • Protect the right to cash: Free ATMs and bank branches are disappearing across the country, yet there is still a real and present demand for cash. The Treasury should follow through on its commitment to legislate to preserve access to free cash withdrawals.
  • Encourage business and entrepreneurial collaboration: Flexible or co-working spaces have become synonymous with some of the world’s biggest cities. But as an increasing number of people wave goodbye to the daily commute, there is an opportunity for local towns to catch up to their city neighbours and provide similar flexible working spaces. Establishing more local spaces for co-working, collaboration and increasing productivity will draw more workers to spend time in their local area and on their high street, driving footfall and encouraging local SME activity to cater to their needs.

About Post Office:

  • With 11,500 branches, the Post Office is among the larger retail networks in the UK.
  • 98% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.
  • The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.
  • We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches, over 2,000 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.
  • We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.
  • Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information; visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities; visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk

Under-performing towns are set for a regional revival in response to Covid-19, according to a new analysis of Post Office data by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr)

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Post Office consultation with Postmasters and commercial partners on future decision making launches

Press releases   •   Sep 21, 2020 10:32 BST

  • Consultation asks Postmasters and commercial partners how they want to be involved in development and execution of business decisions
  • Survey of 8,000 Postmasters will be carried out and assessed by independent agency

  • Consultation launch is a further step in resetting Post Office’s relationship with Postmasters

A consultation asking how Postmasters and commercial partners who operate multiple Post Office branches want to be involved in the development and execution of business decisions has been launched today (21 September).

The Post Office’s consultation will run for twelve weeks and will include in depth discussions, followed by a survey of over 8,000 Postmasters on options such as establishing regional or thematic forums that could advise and influence business decisions. A separate survey and qualitative discussions will take place with all its commercial partners.

Amanda Jones, Post Office Retail and Franchise Network Director, said:

“We want to see Postmasters thriving in their local communities with commercially successful branches run by individuals who know what products and services their customers require. This consultation is part of our efforts to reset our relationship with Postmasters and hear directly from them about how they want to be involved in the development and execution of business decisions.”

A dedicated microsite – https://www.onepostoffice.co.uk/secure/postmaster-consultation/ – has been created where Postmasters can find out more information about the consultation and can log on and submit their views. The consultation is being run by an independent agency, Quadrangle, that will provide an impartial assessment of Postmasters’ views.

The Post Office had previously announced that a Non-Executive Director position on its Board will be created. Since the announcement, the Post Office has been learning from other organisations about their experiences of making a change to their Board. Post Office is also working with its shareholder, the UK Government, to agree the appointment process.

Most recently, the Post Office has also announced the creation of a new Postmaster Director role. In an email to Postmasters, it was explained that the Post Office Limited employee role will be the Postmaster voice within the business and will lead on Postmaster engagement. 

About Post Office:

  • With 11,500 branches, the Post Office is among the larger retail networks in the UK.
  • 98% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.
  • The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.
  • We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches, over 2,000 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.
  • We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.
  • Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information; visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities; visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk

Read more »

Enhanced Post Office travel insurance products now available to buy online, via UK call centre and now in branches

Press releases   •   Sep 15, 2020 10:01 BST

  • Enhanced Post Office travel insurance now on sale online and in branches with Coronavirus cancellation and curtailment added to policy
  • People advised to get travel insurance as soon as they book any travel

Post Office has today (15 September) announced that it has enhanced its travel insurance products in relation to Coronavirus and that policies are now available to purchase in its Branch Network*.

In Mid-June, Post Office travel insurance products went back on sale online and via its call centre providing emergency medical and repatriation expenses as standard against Coronavirus. Post Office travel insurance products have been enhanced and now also provide cover for cancellation and curtailment as a result of Coronavirus. This new cover is available online, via a call centre or in branch.

Essential cover for contracting coronavirus whilst overseas is included as standard across the product range, including single trip, annual multi trip and backpacker. This will ensure that Post Office customers are protected for emergency medical and repatriation costs, should they fall ill, but providing they only travel when there are no restrictions in place by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The enhanced policies mean that Post Office is also able to provide cover for cancellation and curtailment giving a confidence boost to people booking travel.

Paul Paddock, Head of Travel Insurance at Post Office, said:

“We have been busy reviewing our travel insurance policies due to Coronavirus to better meet the needs of customers. We have added cancellation and curtailment to our policies, providing that extra reassurance for our customers.

“We recommend that as soon as people book any travel that they get a travel insurance policy to give them peace of mind in case of redundancy, illness or issues caused by Coronavirus. Post Office is a trusted brand with a dedicated UK call centre able to offer support.”

The Post Office has updated its website with information about its latest travel products to help customers make the right decision for them. For further information about the Post Office’s travel insurance products, visit www.postoffice.co.uk/travel-insurance

*The majority of Post Office branches sell travel insurance products and the branches that do not directly sell these products can refer customers to our online and call centre channels. The same Post Offices that directly sold travel insurance products before can once again do so. Please visit www.postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder to check which branches directly sell travel insurance.

About Post Office:

  • With 11,500 branches, the Post Office is among the larger retail networks in the UK.
  • 98% of Post Office branches are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.
  • The Post Office provides services central to peoples’ everyday lives; 99.7% of the population lives within 3 miles of a Post Office.
  • We offer the UK’s largest fee free cash withdrawal network through our 11,500 branches, over 2,000 cash machines and 99 per cent of UK bank customers can access their accounts at the Post Office.
  • We sell 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.
  • Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information; visit www.postoffice.co.uk and to find out about a Post Office business opportunities; visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk

Enhanced Post Office travel insurance now on sale online and in branches with Coronavirus cancellation and curtailment added to policy

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About Post Office Media

Welcome to the Post Office Media Centre, our online resource for news, information, photos and footage for journalists across the UK.

Post Office Limited has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of many communities across the country. The Post Office has made a commitment to no more branch closure programmes. It provides around 170 different services and products spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards. Post Office also offers Government services; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services. It serves around 18 million customers a week and half of all small businesses. 99.7% of the total population live within three miles of a post office. For many rural communities the post office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices remain highly valued and trusted and are the focal point for many communities.
For more information, visit www.postoffice.co.uk

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