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Small firms want better postal service

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Smaller businesses are remaining loyal to Royal Mail but are demanding an improved level of service.

That was the main finding of a survey carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) among its members.

The survey of 1,200 firms revealed that 94 per cent of respondents want a UK-wide postal service and 59 per cent want to continue to receive mail deliveries six days a week. 

However, the FSB said that problems identified two years ago are still affecting the mail service received by small firms.

To improve Royal Mail’s service, the FSB argued that part-privatisation needs to be announced quickly and that a new regulatory regime should be put in place.

The FSB also proposed the creation of a Post Bank, a state-run or mutual or trustee bank that would be operated through the Post Office Network. FSB research has shown that 38 per cent of members would leave their current bank for a Post Bank. 

Clive Davenport, the trade and industry chairman at the FSB, said: “It is completely unacceptable that small businesses have to take the hit in poor services from the postal service. Two years ago, the Hooper report clearly stated that the Royal Mail and the postal service needed serious reforming to ensure that it is sustainable and provides the service small businesses and consumers deserve.

“Post Offices are the heart of many communities and act not only as a place to send invoices or to collect parcels, but as somewhere for small firms to network and meet like-minded business men and women as well as potential customers. 

“It is simple – small firms are severely let down by the lack of business services available and are not provided with a fully operational service. The government must commit to the importance of sustaining local communities and must step up and support Royal Mail and the Post Office Network by creating a Post Bank.”