Post Office Money launches
The Post Office has launched a new personal finance brand that it says could be "one of the leading financial services providers by 2020".
Post Office Money will house all the Post Office's financial products under one umbrella, with products on sale throughout its 11,500 branches as well as online. The products will continue to be provided by the Post Office's financial services partner, Bank of Ireland.
The Post Office already has over three million customers for banking and insurance products and nine million for foreign currency, but the launch of Post Office Money is clearly aimed at enticing its 17 million weekly customers to take out financial products.
It is the latest new brand to launch in the UK, following a wave of "challenger" banks. The other new launches in the UK include: Aldermore, Shawbrook, Ffrees Family Finance, Sweden's Handelsbanken and Metro Bank, the latter of which represents Britain's first new high street bank in more than 100 years.
Retailers such as Sainsbury's, Tesco and M&S all have their own retail financial arms, while TSB has emerged from Lloyds and Virgin Money absorbed Northern Rock.
Nick Kennett, director of financial services at Post Office Money, said "Consumers want a choice about how they manage their money; at Post Office Money our customers have access to an unrivalled network as well as online and phone, combined with multi-award winning products.
We have been listening to our customers and know that people are facing some big financial decisions, and through the new Post Office Money we want to become their first choice when thinking about a mortgage, credit card or a safe haven for their savings."
Customers will be able to discuss Post Office Money products at 2,500 Post Office branches that remain open on Sundays as well as enjoy extended opening times during the week at certain branches.
Kennett added: "Post Office Money is committed to providing customers with an offering that is fair, accessible and helps them manage their financial needs. We have a great range of award winning products and we want to ensure that as many people know this as possible, including those who might not have previously considered the Post Office."
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.