People hit by the closure of High Street banks should consider using the services offered by the Post Office.
That is the message from David Ward who runs the village Post Office in East Barkwith.
Several banks have closed in recent months in the area including Market Rasen, Caistor, Horncastle and Woodhall Spa.
The banking giants claim more and more people are using internet banking.
However, many people have pointed out that not everyone has access to a computer, especially in rural areas.
Now, David Ward, Sub Post Master at East Barkwith, says the Post Office offers a viable alternative.
He says many customers prefer a face-to-face service.
Mr Ward is also calling for increased public awareness in the range of services offered by even village post offices.
Mr Ward, who is President of the Lincoln and Grimsby branch of the National Federation of Sub Post Masters, explained the Post Office can perform banking transactions for ‘99 per cent of personal customers.’
He said: “As the banks are leaving the high street and closing all their village branches, the Post Office can perform banking transactions for 99 per cent of personal customers and over 75 per cent of business customers.
“According to a public survey, only 40 per cent of people are aware that you withdraw cash, deposit cheques and check your bank balance at the Post Office.
“All this of course can be done online now, but people do prefer face to face service.
“Many people prefer to ‘cash budget’ for the week and withdraw the amount they need.
“People should know that in order to do this, they don’t have to get in the car and drive into a town and pay for a parking space in order to go and get cash out.
“Indeed, you might drive there now and find the branch no longer exists. You may find, eventually, that to get into a branch you may need to go to Lincoln or even Nottingham.
“All this can be done in one of the 11,500 branches of the Post Office across the country.”
Mr Ward admits his message is part of a rallying cry to protect the future of the country’s post offices.
He describes the Post Office nationally as being ‘starved out of business’ and says branches can often be forced to close, despite vital services they offer.
He said: “Government tell you they aren’t closing post offices. They aren’t, but in reality they are still closing because they are being starved out of business. It is sad but true that post offices up and down the country are disappearing.
“Also, along with the village Post Office often goes the last remaining village shop.
“Without out Post Office counters, banks wouldn’t so readily be allowed to close their branches. It is therefore important that the Post Office advertises its services as public information.
“This will hopefully encourage younger generations to use the post office which will combat the decline in customer numbers and ensure counters remain open.
Mr Ward also highlighted that in light of recent reports that free cash withdrawal from ATMs could be under threat, money can be withdrawn free from Post Office ATMs or over a Post Office counter.