HL Deb 01 March 1955 vol 191 c592

2.40 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether it is now possible to increase the amount which can be taken out of the Post Office Savings Bank on demand.]


My Lords, the present limit of £3 for withdrawals on demand was fixed in 1929. The value of money is much less now than it was then and I think that a higher limit would be much more convenient. I propose, therefore, to increase it to £10 and am laying the necessary draft regulations before Parliament today. But this increase will give greater scope for fraud and so, for amounts exceeding £3, I propose to revive the pre-war practice of impounding the book for central examination after each withdrawal. The present practice of impounding the book when two pages are full will continue to apply for amounts up to £3. I hope to start these arrangements in May.

I should also like to mention two minor changes in Savings Bank facilities. First, the same draft regulations provide for an increase in the limit for withdrawals made by telegram both ways from £10 to £25. Second, because of increased costs since the present charge was fixed before the war, we shall have to charge 8d. instead of 4d. per transaction from 1st July for our periodic payments service. This increase will apply only to new contracts.


My Lords, in thanking the Minister for his reply, may I say that I am sure many people in this country will be grateful for this new concession.