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Mutual concern at people’s bank plan

Building societies and brokers warn that the Prime Minister’s plans to bolster the Post Office’s banking arm must not give it an unfair advantage over the rest of the industry.

In his speech to the Labour conference in Brighton on Tuesday, Gordon Brown unveiled plans to develop the Post Office into a leading financial services player through its 11,500 branches. He said: “I want the Post Office to play a much bigger role, bringing banking services back to the heart of people’s communities.”

The Government has already committed £1.7bn of funding to the Post Office.

Brown also set out plans to develop a National Care Service, offering elderly people free personal care in their own homes.

But Building Societies Association director general Adrian Coles says the mutual sector is already the “people’s bank”.

He says: “Brown will need to make sure his proposals do not unfairly penalise building societies and undermine their valuable contribution.”

Association of Mortgage Intermediaries director Robert Sinclair says the plans are a good idea so long as the PO sticks to simple products. He adds: “If it strays into investments, I would expect the same level of qualification, training and professional standards as the rest of the financial sector.”

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Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Post Office
    I really welcome this move. This will hopefully reverse the the trend of closing down post offices in rural communities. It was the norm for elderly people and others to get their pensions and benefits paid as well as putting their savings through their local post office. It could bring back what the local communities have been missing over the last 10-15 years when the goverment have found excuses to shut post offices down one after the other. How can this be bad? Or am I missing something here??

  2. people’s bank plan?
    wasn’t it this governments plan to cull and rationlize the expensive post offices in the first place? me thinks he is sweetening up for the election.

  3. Tony Trescothick 2nd October 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Gordon’s Peoples Bank
    Wasn’t this what Girobank was supposed to be? Where did that endup? Being sold off to, I think, Alliance & Leicester. How many more new tricks will Gordo be trying over the coming months to curry favour pre-election?

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