“Dedication of postmasters must be acknowledged,” says Post Office
UK retail post office company Post Office has announced the outcome of a six month review into postmaster remuneration: the fees postmasters receive for providing Post Office services in their branches in 2020/21 will be 10% higher than in 2018/19.
This means postmaster remuneration will increase by £37 million. This figure is comprised of a £20 million increase during 2020/21 and the £17 million per annum already announced in August 2019. The changes announced in August 2019 included increased transaction fees for handling banking deposits in all branches, as well as increases to fixed payments for Community branches which are often the last or only shop in the village.
Commenting, Group CEO of the Post Office, Nick Read, said: “Post Office branches are the backbone of our business and the heart of their communities. I am determined that the commercial partnership we enjoy with them genuinely reflects that and I am delighted to be able to begin that process through today’s announcement. The retail landscape is tough, and the dedication and hard work postmasters show day-in, day-out, must not only be acknowledged, but be properly remunerated too.
“We are putting our customers and the postmasters who serve them front and centre of our future business. Our recent agreement with 28 UK banks to provide everyday banking services is evidence that we are able to negotiate great deals for Post Office. I am determined that we share the benefits appropriately with our partners, postmasters wherever they are, the length and breadth of the UK.”
Postmasters will receive increased fees for providing everyday banking services; additional payments to smaller, rural Post Offices for the services they provide; increased payments for handling digital passport applications; and increased payments for handling online travel currency purchases that are collected in a branch.
The National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) have released a statement to say it welcomes the increase. NFSP CEO Calum Greenhow said: “To Post Office’s credit, they have listened to the NFSP as the collective voice of subpostmasters. But the work doesn’t stop there. It is imperative that we anticipate and adapt to future changes in the marketplace to ensure that subpostmasters are equipped and incentivised to grow their footfall and income. That is the only way we will be able to guarantee the long-term success of the overall business. This year we have looked to stabilise, next year and beyond we can look to sustain and grow.”
Minister for Postal Affairs, Kelly Tolhurst, also commented, saying: “This is great news for postmasters who provide a vital role in local communities up and down the country…I have been pleased to bring together Post Office executives and the National Federation for Sub-Postmasters in our working group over recent months to discuss this and other issues.”