§ 18. Shona McIsaac
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how the Post Office will help tackle financial exclusion. 
§ Mr. Byers
The Horizon project to computerise the whole of the post office network will provide an automated IT platform from which basis the Post Office can substantially extend its arrangements to act with banks and building societies on an agency basis. In addition, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in his recent Budget statement that he has asked the banks to work with the Post Office to offer a universal banking service available at post offices. Development of these measures has the potential to provide banking facilities to the substantial number of people currently financially excluded.