Post Offices will offer a range of new services and will be open for longer, according to government plans.
New computer terminals in Post Office branches will offer customers access to bank accounts. Information will also be available for jobseekers.
Some 60 per cent of bank accounts can currently be operated through the Post Office. Following the changes Royal Bank of Scotland customers will also be able to access banking services in branches.
Crucially, the government has also said there will be no new closures announced for the 11,500 remaining Post Offices.
In an interview with the BBC, Liberal Democrat minister Ed Davey suggested that Post Offices should operate as a one-stop shop for individuals and businesses. He said: “The vision is that the Post Office will become a refreshed, central point of our community life again where it will have more services.”
Longer opening hours are likely to be of particular interest to business owners. Business groups have long complained that Post Offices are over-crowded and hard to access, partly as a result of short opening hours.
It is also hoped that self-service machines will help to ease queues during peak times.
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