Future of nine local post offices ‘will be safe under Labour plans’

Labour's John McDonnell said the plan would stem the tide of post office closures.
Labour's John McDonnell said the plan would stem the tide of post office closures.

Nine post offices in Scarborough and Whitby would become ‘Post Banks’ under a Labour Government, the shadow chancellor has announced.

John McDonnell has revealed a list of around 3,600 post offices which would become Post Banks under a Labour Government – giving it the largest branch network of any UK bank.

The nine post office branches (East Ayton, Eastfield, Falsgrave Road, Filey, Newby, Newlands Park, Scarborough, South Cliff and Whitby) would have a safe and secure future thanks to the plan, the party said.

The party said that the publicly-owned bank would ensure that every community has easy access to face-to-face, trusted and affordable banking.

It would stem the tide of post office closures, unite important banking, business and community services under one roof and create skilled jobs, Labour said.

Research from the consumer magazine Which? last year showed that the UK lost nearly two-thirds of its bank and building society branches over 30 years, falling from more than 20,000 in 1988 to 7,600 in 2018.

Mr McDonnell said: “We all love our local post offices, and this plan will protect them by giving them a vital extra role – providing our communities with face-to-face banking.

“This is a plan for defending our high streets. It keeps post offices safe for years to come and brings footfall back into our town centres. Plus it provides finance to local small businesses – especially cooperatives, companies that don’t hurt the environment, and those that do research and development.

“We’re going to take finance out of the hands of the big banks and the speculators – and into the hands of our regions and communities. That’s how we’ll rebuild Britain for the many, not the few.”

The Labour Party plans to give £2.5bn of initial funding for the Post Bank, to take over services currently offered through Post Office Money and end the existing partnership with Bank of Ireland UK.