The Town Council is taking action to raise awareness of the availability of post office banking services for residents and businesses, as more bank branches are scheduled to close, including two in Hailsham next year.
Information has recently been released confirming that the Lloyds and Halifax branches in Hailsham will both close in 2024, however, the Town Council wishes to assure customers that normal bank transactions can be carried out in branch at the town centre Post Office located at 10 High Street, including business deposits.
The National Federation of Sub Postmasters (NFSP) believes post offices can play a pivotal role in ensuring people and businesses experience as little detriment as possible from these bank branch closures.
Hailsham residents can access their high street bank accounts at the town centre Post Office – this service is free of charge and, provided customers have their debit card with them, they can check your balance and withdraw or deposit cash. If you don’t have a debit card, some banks will still allow you to deposit cash via the Post Office, if you have a deposit slip.
The Post Office’s free everyday banking service is available to both businesses and individuals.
However, customers cannot transfer money from their account at the Post Office, or get advice on savings, credit, mortgages or other forms of lending offered by your bank. For these, you will need to contact your bank direct or visit in-branch. Information on which banks offer what services at the Post Office is available online at https://www.postoffice.co.uk/everydaybanking.
“Many banks tell us that changes in customer behaviour have been the driving force and principal reason for bank branch closures,” said John Harrison, Town Clerk and Postmaster of the Hailsham High Street Post Office.
“An increasing number of people bank online and consequently make far fewer visits to branches. Whilst we fully understand the considerable uptake in the use of online banking in recent years, there are still people, particularly the elderly, who like to visit their branches and bank in person.”
“This is where we can help, not only Barclays Bank customers who lost their local branch a couple of years ago and taking into account the forthcoming closure of the local Lloyds and Hailfax branches, but with transactions for customers of other banks and building societies too.”
This year marks the 5-year anniversary of the Town Council acquiring the franchise for and ultimately saving the town centre post office from closure.
Subsequently, the Town Council took over the lease of the premises located at 10 High Street, before arranging a complete refurbishment of the new post office and official opening in July 2019.
Hailsham Town Council is believed to be the first council in the UK to operate a post office.
Cllr Mary Laxton, Chair of the Assets Management Committee commented: “I was pleased to pop in branch to meet some of the members of staff recently and it’s wonderful that the Town Council operates a conveniently located post office for local businesses and residents, including our older citizens who often rely heavily on ease of access to local post office services.”
“Not only did the Town Council save the much-needed post office service in the town centre by taking over the franchise a few years ago, but we can say with confidence that we have a brilliant and modern branch, with a tastefully designed interior and fitted well into our historic high street buildings.”
Cllr Laxton added: “I can see that customers are very appreciative of the town centre post office – and that’s exactly what we want amid the forthcoming closure of two more banks in Hailsham next year.”
Terry Hall, Communications Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org