By Ian Lewis
Customers will soon be able to open current accounts at dozens more Post Office branches following the success of a pilot scheme, it has been announced.
The Post Office says it is expanding the service after a pilot scheme, run at 29 branches in East Anglia, generated "really positive" feedback from customers.
The scheme has seen the Post Office offering three current accounts.
One of these is aimed at customers on low incomes who have trouble accessing mainstream banking, in conjunction with the Bank of Ireland.
Pilot scheme set to be rolled out
And following the pilot scheme's success it is now set to roll out the service to another 81 branches across the East Midlands and east of England.
The Post Office's head of current accounts, John Willcock, said: "This exciting move is in line with our planned next steps into making our accounts accessible to thousands of customers.
"The feedback from our customers in East Anglia has been really positive and the take up of all three accounts is in line with our expectations."
Those without a current account are often unable to take advantage of utility bill direct debit offers, which the Post Office says could save them up to £215 per year.
But many say they are put off having a current account by the risk of incurring charges when payments for direct debits and standing orders are returned unpaid.
Post Office offers three current accounts
The Control Account - one of the three being offered by the Post Office - ensures that customers do not face further banking charges for returned payments.
This is in return for a £5 per fee and a minimum deposit of just £20.
The Post Office has 11,500 branches across the UK and is seeking to become a bigger financial services provider on the high street.