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Post Office Doubles Current Account Pilot Branches To 239

5th July 2014

- Post Office current account will be available in 239 branches across the UK by the end of September
- Customers can service their accounts in over 11,500 branches, online or at one of the 40 mobile Post Office vans
- Accounts can be opened with a minimum balance of £20
- Customers will receive a £100 One4All gift card when they switch to a Post Office current account

The Post Office announces the next stage of extending the current account pilot to further branches across the UK as it continues to position itself as a challenger to the high street banks.

From today, the Post Office current account, in partnership with Bank of Ireland UK, will be made available in an additional 76 branches bringing the total to 239 by the end of September through a phased introduction. Customers will be able to open an account in any participating branch, but they will also be able to service them online, through 11,500 branches or at any of the 40 mobile Post Offices which visit over 250 rural parts of the UK.

The move follows the successful launch of the current account pilot in 110 branches in the East Midlands and East of England since May 2013.

Customers can open a Post Office current account with a minimum balance of £20 and can take advantage of the £100 One4All gift card incentive. They will also benefit from one of the best overdrafts in the market at 14.9% EAR.

Feedback from customers has revealed that brand reputation, convenience, accessibility and simplicity of the accounts were among the top reasons they have moved to a Post Office current account. Others felt that the Post Office serviced their banking needs and allowed them to have all their financial products under one roof.

An independent report* into current account switching indicated that 41 per cent of customers planning to or thinking of moving from their current bank would consider switching to the Post Office. The Post Office offers value for money products and is a trusted brand on the high street. The introduction of the Current Account Switch Guarantee has also provided a fresh opportunity and a hassle-free process for customers looking to move from their current provider.

Most recently, the Post Office was shortlisted in the Which? Best Banking Category Awards 2014, in recognition for its banking facilities and accessibility on the high street - showing it is a real contender to the high street banks.

The Post Office current accounts have become a popular addition to the more established award-winning financial services products on offer, appealing to customers looking for choice, good value, fair and transparent products.

John Willcock, Head of Current Accounts at the Post Office, said: "We have spent time developing our current account and have listened to customers since our initial launch to ensure that the range of accounts we offer provides choice and flexibility. The demand for all Post Office current accounts has been very positive and we are now in a good position to extend the pilot to more branches across the UK.

"This is an exciting time for the Post Office as we continue to challenge the high street banks. By offering longer opening hours, easy access through our extensive branch network and a range of products to suit everyone's needs, we are making it easier for our customers to bank with the Post Office."

Commenting on the expansion Gordon Gourlay, Managing Director, Post Office Businesses, Bank of Ireland UK said “This is an important milestone for Bank of Ireland UK and the Post Office. We have built a reputation for providing accessible, convenient and transparent financial service products to the consumer and the continued expansion and success of the Post Office Current Account cements the Post Office's position as a real challenger of the high street banks."

The Post Office current accounts are:

Standard Account

The Standard Account comes with a debit card and is the Post Office's 'free in credit' everyday banking offering.

It will appeal to those who want all the convenience of an everyday current account with a straightforward, easy-to-understand approach to banking fees and no hidden charges or unexpected surprises.
It offers unrivalled access to banking services and transactions, all from an organisation customers know they can trust to treat them well.
Accounts can be set-up with an opening deposit of £20.
Standard Account customers can request a chequebook and can apply for an overdraft facility either when opening the account or anytime afterwards. Overdraft interest rate is currently 14.9% EAR. There are no unarranged borrowing charges.

Control Account

The Control Account helps customers to keep in control of their finances and is a fully functional, 'inclusive' bank account for those who are new to banking, potentially on lower incomes or who have had difficulty with default bank charges in the past.

For a fixed monthly fee of £5, no further charges will be made for payments that are returned unpaid such as direct debits and standing orders.
It offers customers the certainty of knowing how much their banking will cost them without any unexpected surprises.
The Control Account aims to deliver banking services in a way that removes the risk of missed payment charges and saves less affluent customers money overall.
To open the Control Account customers will need a minimum opening deposit of £20.
The Control Account offers a full banking service proposition to customers - branch banking, nationwide ATM access, online banking (including funds transfers and bill payments), telephone banking, Direct Debits and standing orders.

Packaged Account

The Packaged Account is an 'added value' offering and provides a compelling range of additional benefits for a competitive monthly fee of just £8.

It is designed for the growing group of customers who enjoy benefits such as European Multi-Trip Family Travel Insurance and Vehicle Breakdown Cover.
It will also provide Identity Theft Protection services and the convenience and guaranteed savings of a discounted Post Office Travel Booking Service that offers up to 7.5% discount on a variety of holidays and travel needs.
Packaged Account customers can request a chequebook and can apply for an overdraft facility either when opening the account or anytime afterwards. Overdraft interest rate is currently 14.9% EAR. There are no unarranged borrowing charges.

Saving you money

Our Control Account could save you money. Customers who have incurred a bank charge are highly likely to then incur more, averaging at £205 per year. In 2011 over 6.6 million people incurred bank charges of more than £100. That's why we believe that just £5 per month could be a much better deal for you. Plus you could benefit from savings on your utility bills by paying by Direct Debit.

Customers wishing to open an account will be able to visit their local branch to talk through their options with specially trained staff, who will be on hand to discuss the types of accounts on offer and which one will suit their individual needs best. They will also be able to assist with the completion of the application form as well as transferring direct debits.

The Post Office is currently undertaking the largest investment and support programme in its history and will see approximately 8000 Post Offices converting to new style branches. This significant transformation will provide more and more essential services to our customers across mails, government and financial services. The introduction of the current account is a further statement of this ambition.


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