Post Office set to combine financial services
It's hoped that this will pump the Post Office up to becoming a leading challenger-type brand in the financial services solutions market, while the big bank set start to wind down branches on the high street.
Business secretary Vince Cable is to meet up with major lenders to sort out a deal that will let bank customers make the most of the Post Office's 11,5000 branches.
The Post Office currently offers products including insurance, mortgages, savings accounts and foreign exchange, some of which are provided through a partnership with Bank of Ireland.
Speaking to Sky News, Nick Kennett, director of financial services at Post Office Money, said: "Consumers want a choice about how they manage their money; at Post Office Money our customers have access to an unrivalled network as well as online and phone, combined with multi-award winning products.
"We have been listening to our customers and know that people are facing some big financial decisions, and through the new Post Office Money we want to become their first choice when thinking about a mortgage, credit card or a safe haven for their savings."
The Post Office network has around three million customers within its banking and insurance business and nine million people use its foreign currency exchange services, while 2,500 of its branches open on Sundays.
Vince Cable is said to be quite keen on the idea, after getting cheesed off with major banks who decided not to renew a commitment not to close branches where they are the only one left in local communities.
The banks are all saying that with technology and the like, people are doing less in a bank, and more online.
But Mr Cable argued to Sky News that: "There are a lot of people who are not connected who also need to do basic banking functions, and we mustn't be in a position where large numbers of villages and other small communities are effectively being cut off from banking.
"If the banks cannot perform that service we need an adequate substitute, and they've got a responsibility to help provide it."