§ Mr. Kirkwood
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will announce the final details of the proposed universal bank; and when he expects the new accounts to become available to post office users. 
§ Mr. Alan Johnson
Our intention is to sign a memorandum of understanding with the banks on universal banking services shortly. Detailed implementation is for the longer term and subject to further negotiations between the Post Office and the banks, and between the Post Office, their clients and potential suppliers. Universal banking services are scheduled to come on stream either before or at the time of transfer of benefit payments to ACT in 2003.