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Aberdeenshire MP seeks answers from Post Office on exclusion of pension payments

By Kirsty Brown

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A north-east MP is seeking answers from the Post Office after they wrote to customers advising them that they would no longer be able to have their State Pension or other benefits paid into their accounts.

MP Richard Thomson has been passed a letter sent to holders of Post Office Savings Accounts which states that as of March 1 2022, deposits “such as salary, pension or benefits payments will no longer be allowed”.

Instead, account holders are being advised to open a bank account and “link it” to their Post Office account.

MP for Gordon, Mr Thomson has now written to the Chief Executive of the Post Office, Nick Read, seeking answers and urging him to reconsider this decision in light of the wholesale closure of bank branches across the north-east and other parts of the country.

He said: “I’m astounded that the Post Office should think it is a good idea to treat their customers in this manner.

“Many people were faced with the withdrawal by the Department for Work and Pensions of the Post Office Card Account and, wanting to keep their business with the Post Office, migrated to the Post Office Savings Account.

"Now, after a period of sustained bank closures, they are being told the Post Office no longer wants this business and they must open a bank account.

“Each and every time a bank branch has closed, we get the line trotted out that there is a Post Office nearby and people can use that.

"Now, the Post Office are turning away pensions, benefits and salaries and saying to people they must go online or travel to their nearest bank to open up an account if they don’t already have one.

“It’s a very curious way to run a business which should be capitalising on its network and the opportunity to gain more business from the banks which have abandoned the local community.

“I am very concerned that people will be inconvenienced by this, and in some cases will face extreme difficulty in getting to a bank and this decision is likely to marginalise even more those for whom access to cash is important.”

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