Lloyds TSB tests link with Post Office

Lloyds TSB, the UK’s biggest bank, is piloting a scheme that could see it offer a basic business banking service through the 15,500 Post Office branches in England and Wales.

Lloyds TSB, the UK’s biggest bank, is piloting a scheme that could

see it offer a basic business banking service through the 15,500 Post

Office branches in England and Wales.



Lloyds TSB struck the deal with GiroBank, the retail bank which operates

through the Post Office, to give business account holders the

opportunity to deposit cash and cheques, and change notes for coins at

Post Office branches.



The scheme is being tested in 11 branches in Reading. The service will

roll out nationally in the first quarter of next year if the pilot is a

success.



Last week the government issued a statement encouraging banks to offer

banking services through the Post Office as a means of providing

branch-based banking to remote communities (Marketing, November 18).



Banks have been criticised for gradually reducing their networks.

NatWest, Barclays and Northern Rock have all announced branch closures

this year.



The banks claim the need to reduce costs, exacerbated by the explosion

in direct telephone and online banking techniques, has led to the

cuts.



Lloyds TSB spokeswoman, Kirsty Clay, said: ’We can now provide bank

services to areas where perhaps there is no bank. That the Post Office

is open on Saturday mornings is also an advantage for small businesses,

which often need change.’



Lloyds TSB became the first high street bank to offer services through

the Post Office when it introduced a basic personal banking service in

April.



The government and industry analysts have identified the Post Office as

the most likely replacement for the high street bank. It is envisaged

that a single Post Office could provide over-the-counter banking for a

number of retail banks.



Post Office Counters, the company formed when the Post Office was

privatised, is currently seeking to increase the range of services it

offers to the public.



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