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Post Office Closures

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:16 pm on 15th May 2002.

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Photo of Kali Mountford Kali Mountford Labour, Colne Valley 5:16 pm, 15th May 2002

The hon. Gentleman is characteristically generous in giving way. However, does he not recognise the possibility of a win, win, win situation? Some people are kept out of the formal economy because they do not have access to bank accounts. It will benefit them to be in the formal banking system and to be able to run their affairs appropriately. Such a system could also benefit post offices, because they might benefit from the extra services that they can offer the public and will be better able to sustain themselves. The banks also believe that the system will be commercially viable. Once they have a new customer, they rarely lose them. Customers stay with the banks for life; 85 per cent. of people never change their bank account. Does the hon. Gentleman not see that everyone could benefit from the proposal?