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Consultations

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 18 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions she has held with (a) HSBC, (b) the Royal Bank of Scotland, (c) Halifax Bank of Scotland and (d) Abbey National concerning the provision of ban king services in the Post Office; and if she will make a statement. [119840]

The Government are keen that as many accounts as possible should be accessible at post offices. HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Halifax Bank of Scotland and Abbey National agreed to make their basic bank accounts accessible at post office counters from 1 April 2003 when universal banking services became operational. The Post Office's plans to extend post office access to all current account holders are a commercial matter between Post Office Ltd. and individual banks. I have not, therefore, had any recent discussions with these banks concerning the provision of wider banking services at the Post Office.