The Post Office has asked banks for an additional £200m, as part of a new three-year deal, so customers can continue to access cash from Post Office counters, according to reports.
The deal, set to begin in 2023, has seen the Post Office demand £800m from 30 high street banks to pay for the use of its 11,500 branch network, according to the The Times, which first reported the news. In the current deal, which ends in 2022, banks pay £600m.
Aside from an extra £200m the Post Office reportedly also wants to form a longer-term partnership with banks which could extend up to ten years. Such a deal would likely allow the Post Office to demand higher payments from banks, to be invested in its network.
The news comes amid increasing concern by government and regulators over consumers’ access to cash withdrawals and deposits, which dropped sharply during the pandemic, as an increasing number of banks close their branches and cash machines.
“Establishing a long-term, secure solution for cash is in the interest of banks, Post Office and the millions of small businesses and consumers,” said a Post Office spokesperson who added that withdrawals and deposit volumes are rising across its network of branches.
The partnership with banks would also, the spokesperson continued, ensure Postmasters are “rewarded properly for the increasingly important support they offer their communities.”