The simple answer is YES, but not if the current management continues in place, and not if the pay for doing the work fails to meet the actual costs involved.

Banks are closing more and more local branches, directing their customers to use Post Offices for deposit and withdrawal needs, so there is a golden opportunity to safeguard PO's by making them the trusted financial hub in the community, but the range of services offered through the PO vary from bank to bank and even the way transactions are done can vary from bank to bank, introducing unnecessary complexity and room for error.

Elsewhere, the relatively new French Post Bank (La Banque Postale) has returned over a billion Euros profit to support the core Post Office business, and the experience is similar in New Zealand and Italy.

La Poste is already preparing itself to be at the centre of the Internet of Things in every French home using its own app (http://uk.pcmag.com/consumer-electronics-reviews-ratings/87113/news/inside-the-french-postal-services-iot-god-mod)

 

Around the world, Post Offices have re-invented themselves; by providing their own financial services to the financially excluded or hard to reach, and by their Governments adopting policies that truly make the Post Office the go to place for Government services and advice.

LATEST NEWS - The Centre for Banking Research has recommended the foundation of a Post Bank - summary finding below.  Full report available here , but te summary conclusions are given below:  

Final remarks

In the above we have set out a case for the establishment of a Post Bank as a separate subsidiary of the Post Office.  

We envisage the Post Bank to be a modern, sophisticated and innovative player offering a range of banking services at a large scale. We argue that a Post Bank is a viable business opportunity that will contribute to the revenues of the Post Office, thereby ensuring its long-term sustainability and ending its reliance on government subsidies.

 

We make the following recommendations.

  1. We recommend that the partnership with the Bank of Ireland should be ended, as it has failed to deliver the expected outcomes. 

  2. We recommend the establishment of a Post Bank that is (at least partially) owned by the Government and operates through the Post Office branch network.

  3. We advise that the Post Office acquires the Bank of Ireland UK portfolio as the initial portfolio of the Post Bank, retaining all the customers that have acquired products and services white-labelled via Post Office Money.

  4. We recommend the Post Bank to be set up as a separate subsidiary, with a separate management team and separate accounting, and endowed with its own capital.

  5. We advise the Post Bank to make use of the capillary branch network to expand in SME lending and BCA segments.

  6. We identify possible mergers or partnership with challenger banks that specialise in SME lending in order to acquire modern technology and skills.

  7.  encourage the Post Office capitalise on its existing strengths, its strong brand and reputation, to fully benefit from the establishment of a Post Bank

 

Despite the Government throwing £2 BILLION at Post Office Limited, and despite lofty promises to make the Post Office "the front line of Government", in reality little new work has come from Govt to PO's, and much existing work is being taken away under the guise of cost cutting or efficiency.

We are aware of recent cases where DWP has threatened claimants with withholding benefits UNLESS they changed away from the Post Office Card Account to another bank account.

 

And now we have HM Government writing to Pensioners, the most loyal Post Office customer group, effectively demanding they  open a bank account to have their pension paid in - and nowhere on this letter does it say they can keep using PO till 2021!!

Asylum seekers now get paid by a system called Simplepay, NOT through the Post Office, but through Paypoint.

DVLA are spending on TV advertising to persuade motorists to renew their car tax online, rather than through the Post Office.

Local councils are moving council tax collection to other providers.

Individually and collectively, these various arms of Government are handing money to the private sector, and in theory saving a few million pounds by making these changes, but totally ignoring the gaping hole they tear in the finances of the Post Office as a result, a hole that, short term AND long term will have to be filled by Central Government.

DVLA recently closed virtually all their area offices around the country, yet they are now using Post Offices for those complex or non-online transactions at the same miserable rate as when all car tax was conducted through Post Offices,

 

AND they still expect Post Offices to be open  70 hours a week just in case somebody has been unable to tax their vehicles online.

Income to Post Offices from DVLA alone is now less than 10% of what it was only 3 or 4 years ago,

Does the Post Office have a future?

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