The Association of Convenience Stores has welcomed Barclays’ U-turn on its decision to axe cash withdrawals from the Post Office.
Barclays has reversed its decision, which was branded “galling” and “a total disregard for customers in rural areas” by The National Federation of SubPostmasters, following mounting pressure from the public, politicians and pressure groups.
Barclays was the only one of the 28 banks partnered with the Post Office to refuse to sign up to the new terms.
“We’re pleased Barclays have changed their policy and will be allowing their customers to access cash through the Post Office network,” said ACS CEO James Lowman.
“Post offices and local shops more generally provide access to all sorts of services in communities that would otherwise not be reached. Banks and other businesses should be working with retailers to provide these services, benefiting themselves as well as retailers and consumers.”
The move comes after Lowman responded to a report from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee on the Future of the Post Office Network. He outlined that Post Offices are integral to local communities, particularly for those living in rural areas, and may now be the only place that can provide essential financial services such as access to cash and bill payment services.
Barclays Group CEO Jes Staley said question marks remained over the sustainability of relying on the Post Office model in the future, adding: “Our decision, however, provoked a great deal of public and private debate. We have listened very carefully to points that have been made to us by ministers in government, by MPs, and by interested charities and consumer advocates.
“Ultimately we have been persuaded to rethink our proposals by the argument that our full participation in the Post Office banking framework is crucial at this point to the viability of the Post Office network.”