HC Deb 21 January 2003 vol 398 cc234-5W
Geraldine Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the effect of Automated Credit Transfer on sub-post office revenue. [91999]

Mr. Timms

The current value to Post Office Ltd. of encashment business from the Department for Work and Pensions is some £400 million a year. The migration of benefit payment to Automated Credit Transfer (ACT) begins this year and the Post Office's strategy is to respond to that challenge with a range of banking and other services. How the migration of benefit payments affects the revenue of sub-post offices will depend on a number of factors, not least how benefit recipients and other post office customers respond to change. But the contract for the Post Office card account is potentially worth £1 billion to Post Office Ltd. over its 10-year lifetime.