Bank customers will access accounts at the Post Office

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BARCLAYS yesterday unveiled a major extension of its operations north of the Border after sealing a deal to give its customers access to their bank accounts at the Post Office.

The lender, which only has about 20 of its own branches in Scotland, will now offer services at about 1,400 outlets. The deal will also cover Post Offices in Northern Ireland.

Customers south of the Border can already use the service at about 10,000 Post Offices in England and Wales.

Cash and cheques can be paid into bank accounts and money can be withdraw using debit cards with personal identification numbers (Pins).

Brendan Hastings, area network director for Barclays in Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “By providing banking services at the Post Office, we can offer personal customers in Scotland and Northern Ireland more choice and convenience, especially to those who wish to do their banking face to face.”

The Post Office already has similar arrangements in place with other high street banks.

Nick Kennett, director of financial services at the Post Office, added: “We welcome Barclays’ decision to extend banking to Scotland and Northern Ireland. This is an important move that will allow thousands of customers to access their accounts through the Post Office.

“From spring 2013, 95 per cent of all UK debit cardholders will have access to their money at Post Office counters.”

The Barclays deal will come as a boost to Post Offices in Scotland, which have been diversifying from simply handling mail to offering other services.

Last year, finance secretary John Swinney offered £1 million-worth of grants to help Post Offices diversify their businesses.

The Post Office already offers its own credit cards, loans and mortgages under a deal with Bank of Ireland.