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Campaigners have begun lobbying for a people’s bank.

A coalition comprising trade unions, a business organisation, pensioner and pressure groups and charities have put forward proposal for a new “Post Bank” that would be run as part of the Post Office Network.

They argue that such a move would provide more financial services to people and businesses currently not served by High Street lenders, while at the same time strengthening the role of post offices and securing its future.

According to the Post Bank coalition three million Britons

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do not use banks and many small businesses are looking for new sources of finance to help them through the recession.

In addition, the Post Office has a network of 11,500 branches; almost twice the number of the major High Street banks combined.

As such, it is a unique national resource that could provide secure and equitable finance via a local banking infrastructure, the coalition suggests.

In terms of funding, the establishment of the Post Bank could be supported by the issue of local bonds plus money from the Government.

Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, John Wright, comments: “Small businesses are completely reliant on the Post Office network with 80% passing their letters and parcels through the Post Office and 47% visiting a post office a couple of times each week … establishing Post Bank would not only retain jobs but could also, we estimate, create 11,000 new jobs.”

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